FirstGroup buoyed by UK rail operations

FirstGroup buoyed by UK rail operations

Global transport giant FirstGroup is on course to meet its financial forecasts for the year after an encouraging third quarter performance. 

Rail operations in Britain buoyed the company, along with shuttle bus business in the United States.

However, demand for Greyhound buses in the US fell, as falling petrol prices saw commuters take to their cars.

FirstGroup chief executive Tim O’Toole said: “Demand for Greyhound services was adversely affected by the rapid reduction in fuel prices, which makes car travel more affordable.”

Analysts currently expect FirstGroup to post pre-tax profit of £152.70 million ($232 for the year to March 2015.

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FirstGroup said its existing major rail contract, First Great Western, grew strongly, posting an underlying passenger revenue rise of 7.3 per cent in the period.

The company was also negotiating with the British government for a new contract to run the service until 2019.