25 May 2012

FirstGroup sells off even more routes

Britain's biggest bus operator put more of its bus services on the block this week after claiming fuel costs, lower demand and reduced subsidies were hurting the division. FirstGroup will accelerate its programme of disposals, which has already seen it offload operations in North Devon and King's Lynn and a number of other depots, in order to protect profitability.  

Their bus operating profits fell nearly 10% to £134.4 million in the year to March 31 while the operating margin of 11.6% is expected to fall to 8% this year. The company said other divisions including UK rail and Greyhound coaches in the US were performing well as it recorded pre-tax profits of £271.4 million, down 1% on a year earlier.

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