Firstgroup losses widen on Greyhound writedown

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Firstgroup reported wider losses in the first half of the year as a writedown related to its US coach business Greyhound offset a rise in revenue.

For the six months ended 30 September, pre-tax losses widened to £187.1m from £4.6m on-year, while revenue rose 6.9% to £3.5bn.

Profit was hurt by a rise in costs, including the Greyhound impairment charge of £124.4m, North American self-insurance reserve charge of £59.3m and restructuring and reorganisation costs of £15.4m.

Greyhound like-for-like revenue 0.7% but a fall in immigration flows to a five year low in the second quarter kept a lid on performance.

Firstgroup said a formal sale process for Greyhound was now well advanced.

'The company said it was 'disappointed with the further deterioration in the US motor claims environment which has required an increase in insurance costs for our North American businesses.'

First Student and First Transit generated revenue of £851.6m and £588.7m, down from £1.84bn and £1.1bn.

First Rail like-for-like passenger revenue rose 4.9%, driven by a strong financial contribution from GWR.

'Based on current trends and underpinned by our activities to reduce the cost base further, we are confident in delivering our trading expectations for the full year,' Firstgroup said.

At 8:07am: (LON:FGP) FirstGroup PLC share price was -3.1p at 126.2p


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