FirstGroup on track to meet forecasts

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Transport firm FirstGroup expects to meet its forecasts for the current financial year after strong third-quarter performances from its rail operations in Britain and its shuttle bus business in the United States.

That record offset a fall in demand for travel on Greyhound buses in the U.S. in the period since Octocber 1, as customers took advantage of the fall in the price of fuel and opted to drive instead.

Analysts currently expect FirstGroup to post pretax profit of £152.7m for the year to March 2015.

The company suffered a series of setbacks in its UK rail business last year, bidding for five contracts without winning one.

However, it said its existing major rail contract, First Great Western, grew strongly, posting an underlying passenger revenue rise of 7.3 percent in the period, and it was negotiating with the government for a new contract to run it until 2019.