First Group 2013 Final Results

DividendMax Ltd.

First Group 2013 Final Results


Group overview:

  * Overall trading in line with expectations for the year, excluding the £14m
    operating profit impact of unprecedented weather conditions on First
    Student and Greyhound in the fourth quarter

  * Adjusted operating profit increased by 5.5%, reflecting improved underlying
    operating performances in four divisions, partially offset by slower
    progress in First Student and the extreme weather

  * Adjusted EPS fell 31.8% due to the dilutive effect of the rights issue
    completed in June 2013

  * Statutory operating profit and EPS substantially improved

  * Net cash flow broadly flat for the year (excluding the proceeds of the
    rights issue), in line with expectations

  * Balance sheet strengthened, net debt: EBITDA ratio reduced to 2.2 times
    from 3.4 times last year and new £800m five-year revolving credit facility

  * Disciplined investment programme underway, with gross capital expenditure
    increasing by 15% in the period

  * ROCE increased to 8.2% (2013: 7.0%) in line with expectations. Medium term
    10-12% ROCE target and other financial targets maintained

  * Dividend - taking together the current stage of the turnaround programmes and our commitment to our capital programme, the Board has decided to refrain from reinstating a dividend at this point

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