Bus and trains operator Go-Ahead Group reported a solid first quarter, with growth seen in both parts of the business, leaving it on track to meet full year expectations.
Outside London, the company's year-to-date revenue, excluding acquisitions, increased by around 4%, with passenger numbers up by around 3%, although a recent weaker concessionary performance offset stronger growth in fare-paying passengers. In London, year-to-date revenue and mileage rose by over 4% and 2%, respectively.
In the rail division, Southern achieved growth in passenger revenue of around 9% as passenger journeys rose by more than 2% year-on-year. In the Southeastern division, passenger revenue was up over 10% and passenger journeys increased by almost 2%. London Midland saw strong passenger revenue growth of over 13% with passenger numbers up around 8%.
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In a statement the company said: "Overall, trading in the third quarter has been solid and, whilst we continue to be cautious about the wider economic outlook, we remain confident that we will deliver a full year result in line with our expectations.
Due to recent acquisitions in the group's bus division, year end net debt is expected to be higher than previously anticipated at around £95m. The group seemed sanguine about the debt position, emphasising that it remains in a good financial position with strong cash generation, enabling it to continue churning out the divis while looking for suitable acquisitions.
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