East Anglia: ‘Robust’ start to year for Hedingham, Chambers and Anglia Bus owner Go-Ahead

David Brown, chief executive of Go-Ahead Group.

David Brown, chief executive of Go-Ahead Group. - Credit: Archant

Bus and train operator Go-Ahead Group has reported a “robust” start to its new financial year.

Bus and train operator Go-Ahead Group has reported a “robust” start to its new financial year.

In a trading update issued ahead of its annual general meeting today, Go-Ahead said all its businesses had achieved underlying growth in line with expectations in the period from June 30 to October 23.

Its deregulated bus services, which include the Hedingham, Chambers and Anglia Bus operations in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk, saw revenue growth of around 3.5%, stripping out the one-off boost resulting from last year’s Olympic sailing events.

“Concessionary passenger volumes continue to grow at a slower rate than journeys made by fare paying customers,” the group said.

Revenue from the group’s regulated bus services in London was around 7% higher, excluding the effects of last year’s Olympic games, with the total boosted by a number of one-off rail replacement services.

Go-Ahead’s three rail franchises ? Southern, Southeastern and London Midland, which are operated through the Govia joint venture with French group Keolis ? also achieved underlying revenue growth, of 7%, 6% and 9% respectively.

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Group chief executive David Brown said: “Our bus and rail businesses have delivered a robust performance, in line with our expectations.

“Our bus division is performing well and we are on course to deliver our £100m target by 2015/16. Our high quality, locally-focused operations and sector leading marketing continue to drive our passenger numbers and we are making good progress with our cost efficiency programme.

“In rail, our bid team is working hard to deliver strong bids for the Thameslink and Crossrail franchise competitions and we have begun discussions with the Department for Transport regarding the proposed extension for Southeastern.

“Overall, I am pleased with the group’s performance and remain confident that the full year result will be in line with our expectations.”