The share price of Go-Ahead Group (LSE: GOG), the Newcastle upon Tyne-based transport group, is currently down close to 1.5% following publication of a trading update ahead of the company’s half year results, due on 19 February 2015.
The group’s regional bus operations saw increased contract revenue, but commercial and concessionary passenger numbers remained broadly flat year-on-year, with business affected by continuing weakness in the economy of the north east.
In London, Go-Ahead says that its bus revenue is still being affected by the reallocation of bus service operators grant, and that full year mileage growth is expected to be broadly flat.
In rail, the company says that business in its Southern franchise remains in line with expectations and that revenue performance in its London Midland franchise has improved, thanks to reduced network disruption. Go-Ahead also says that its new Govia Thameslink franchise is performing “broadly in line” with assumptions made in the bid.
Overall, Go-Ahead says that it’s in a good financial position, with strong cash generation, and that its expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
Meanwhile, Stagecoach Group (LSE: SGC), which operates a mix of public transport services in the UK, US and Canada, is recovering from a share price fall of as much as 10% yesterday, after it reported flat profits in its interim results for the six months to 31 October. But at 384p, Stagecoach’s share price is still 5.6% below its Tuesday close.
The company — which last week was awarded the East Coast Mainline franchise in partnership with Virgin Group — warned that full-year operating profit from it regional UK Bus and North America businesses will be lower than previously expected.
But it went on to say that it should be “broadly offset” by profit growth in other areas, and that it therefore expects to achieve its full-year adjusted earnings per share target.
Go-Ahead Group’s share price is now up 55% on this time last year, trouncing both Stagecoach, whose price is up just 2.8%, and the FTSE All-Share, which is down 2.2%.