FirstGroup share price (FGP) soars as trading update released
FirstGroup plc (LON:FGP) today released a trading update for the financial year ended March 31, revealing results in line with management’s expectations. Sales were mostly in the positive, FirstGroup revealed, but the company expects a £100m loss be logged in the preliminary results report on June 10.
FirstGroup’s shares, however, surged 4.18 percent to 94.75p as of 12:14 BST today. The company’s stock, though, is still down about 10 percent year-to-date and more than 30 percent annually.
FirstGroup’s core businesses were mostly seen growing, the Aberdeen-based company’s statement revealed. Revenue at First Student, the company’s school bus business in the US, is expected to have grown 1.3 percent like-for-like in the year to March 31, while sales at First Transit, the group’s US based fixed route transit business, are projected to have grown 5.5 percent. Meanwhile, FirstGroup’s US intercity bus business, Greyhound, is seen keeping revenue flat, as lower fuel costs eroded sales in Q4, with many people electing to drive instead.
In the UK, FirstGroup’s bus transport operations are expected to have generated 2.3 percent higher like-for-like revenue, with a 1.1 percent increase in passenger volume. The rail business in the UK was also upbeat as projections showed sales grew 6.6 percent.
“Overall trading for the year is in line with our expectations and we continue to make progress with our multi-year transformation plans, which will improve the Group’s financial performance and ensure we deliver sustainable value creation in the medium term,” FirstGroup chief executive Tim O’Toole commented.
O’Toole also noted the highly anticipated arrival of newly-appointed chairman Wolfhart Hauser, currently heading inspection and certificate giant Intertek, who will be replacing Barclays-bound John McFarlane in July.
“In early March we were pleased to announce that Wolfhart Hauser will become Chairman following our AGM in July. Wolfhart has an exemplary track record of sustained value creation and his experience and counsel will be invaluable as we drive forward the transformation of the Group.”
As of 13:33 BST, Wednesday, 01 April, FirstGroup plc share price is 94.25p.