With revenues dropping by 138 per cent right after losing the franchises, the group reported a 1 per cent fall in underlying earnings to 3007million for the year to March 31, while its Student US business was impacted by the school timing calendar. The group has also come under pressure after losing bids to retain rail franchises such as the East Coast Line and ScotRail.
With its Greyhound coach business reporting a 5 per cent fall in like for like passenger revenue, firstGroup said the decline was mostly because of waning demand for long distance coach trips in the US. Its rail arm also suffered a drop off in demand from passengers following terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels.
In the UK, where FirstGroup operates the Great Western Railway andTransPennine Express rail franchises as well as buses,like for like passenger revenue rose by 3 per cent, albeit a slowdown compared to the previous quarter.
This was because of upgrade work for its Great Western Railway operations, FirstGroup said.
Our UK based Bus and Rail operations are affected by trends in the wider economy, including factors such as weakening economic growth and lower consumer confidence, like other business sectors. FirstGroup said in its trading statement. while it had been shortlisted for the East Anglia franchise, firstGroup won a sevenyear contract in December to continue running the TransPennine Express railway line.