First Group 2015 full year results

DividendMax Ltd.

First Group 2015 full year results
  • Overall trading for the Group in line with management’s expectations
  • First Student and UK Bus transformations delivered margin improvements, and First Transit and UK Rail outperformance offset reduced Greyhound demand
  • Secured First Great Western until at least March 2019 and an additional year operating First TransPennine Express
  • Further strong progress in non-rail businesses expected in the year ahead led by momentum in transformations of First Student and UK Bus, largely offsetting substantially lower UK Rail earnings
  • Improved financial performance in the year demonstrates our multi-year transformation programme is making progress
  • Wolfhart Hauser appointed to succeed John McFarlane as Chairman. Group Finance Director Chris Surch to retire in January 2016

Financial summary:

  • Underlying revenue increased by 4.1%. Reported revenue decreased due to Rail franchise changes, non-recurrence of revenues from UK Bus operations sold or closed in the prior year and foreign exchange translation
  • Adjusted operating profit increased by 13.3% and Group adjusted margin increased by one percentage point, principally reflecting improvements in First Student and UK Bus
  • Adjusted attributable profit increased by 48.2%, reflecting transformation plan and lower net finance costs
  • Statutory attributable profit increased by 38.7%, with non-recurrence of the gain on UK Bus disposals in prior year
  • Net cash inflow (before UK Rail end of franchise cash outflows of £107.9m) was ahead of expectations at £39.4m
  • Net debt:EBITDA ratio of 2.25 times as expected, due to UK Rail end of franchise cash outflows and foreign exchange
  • Group ROCE of 7.8%, or 8.5% at constant exchange rates (2014: 8.2%)
  • Medium term financial targets unchanged

Companies mentioned