Falling energy prices provide boost to Go-Ahead profits

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TRANSPORT group Go-Ahead has signalled a boost to profits after energy costs fell at its Southern, London Midland and Southeastern rail division.

The Newcastle-based company, which runs services through its Govia joint venture, also credited a better operational performance after the three rail franchises achieved growth in passenger journeys of between four and five per cent.

With its bus division performing in line with hopes, Go-Ahead expects operating profits for the year to June 28 to be ahead of previous guidance, driven by the better performance in rail.

Go-Ahead’s bus division carries nearly two million passengers every day, focusing on busy commuter markets.

It is on track to achieve £100m in profits by 2015/16, having seen growth of 14.7 per cent to £40.6m in the six months to December 28.

Rail profits were £10.5m in the first half and Go-Ahead said yesterday it still expects a slightly smaller figure in the second half, despite the better trading.

Its three rail franchises are drawing to a close, which has put pressure on results in light of original bid assumptions.

The Southern franchise will continue on existing terms for the whole of the next financial year before merging into the new Thameslink, Southern and Greater Northern (TSGN) franchise next July.