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Our business model

Our business model is robust and provides long term earnings resilience across the economic cycle.
In addition to delivering sustainable returns for our shareholders we create value for our customers, our people and the communities we serve.
 

We generate revenue and profit in two main ways:

1) The provision of transport services to fare-paying passengers, whose revenue covers the cost of service and a profit margin. Most bus operations in the UK outside London operate on this commercial basis.
 

2) The provision of passenger transport services on behalf of public sector transport authorities. We tender for, and run, contracts in two main sub-categories:

• Gross cost contracts where our entire revenue comprises payments made by the transport authority to us with the authority retaining all fare revenue raised and therefore revenue risk. This includes the UK London bus market and the GTR rail franchise.

Net cost contracts where our revenue is a combination of income from fares and payments from transport authorities. Most UK rail franchises are run on this basis.

Where revenue is partly or wholly derived from transport authorities the operator carries cost risk. Good cost controls are vital in areas such as staff utilisation, fuel efficiency and negotiating and managing contractual relationships. Part of the Group’s core skill set is managing all of these areas without compromising safety or quality.

Through our three operating divisions:

Regional bus
 

London bus
 

Rail
 


 

Enabled by: 

Our key relationships


Passengers
We strive to deliver effective local services that put passengers at the heart of everything we do and where we stay one step ahead of changes in our customers’ worlds.

Our people
High levels of colleague engagement, job satisfaction and a safe, supportive working environment contribute directly to the success of Go-Ahead.

Communities
Our businesses are part of the local communities in which they operate. Our aim is to provide the social and economic benefits of affordable, accessible travel in the towns and cities we serve.

Government
Policy and regulatory changes affect our bus and rail businesses. Working closely with both central and local government we bring the benefits of private sector delivery and lower public spending.

Strategic partners and suppliers
We work collaboratively with strategic partners including the DfT, TfL, local authorities, Network Rail and rail rolling stock companies. Professional relationships with core suppliers help to ensure and support efficient delivery of value for money services.

Shareholders
As a publicly listed company we provide open and transparent information, which enables informed investment decisions to be made. Feedback from our shareholders forms part of strategic Board discussions.

Our key inputs


Our people
We directly employ almost all the people involved in providing our services.

Our buses and trains
All of our trains are leased and we own all of our regional bus fleet. In our London bus business, around half of our fleet is leased and half is owned.

Infrastructure
We pay for the use of public sector infrastructure such as railway track access or use of local authority bus stations. We own the majority of our bus depots. Rail depots are rented from Network Rail or similar providers.

Fuel
Our vehicles are mainly powered by a combination of diesel, electricity and gas.

Finance
We are financed through a combination of investment from our shareholders, bank and other debt and also through profits generated by our operations. After payments to transport authorities and infrastructure providers, our largest costs are those of employing our people, funding our vehicle fleets and fuel.

Supported by:

  • our strategic priorities 
  • our robust governance framework
  • our approach to risk

Creating value for:

A broad range of stakeholders.

At Go-Ahead, we believe it is important to deliver shared value. Our bus and rail operations create value for our people, the communities we serve, and our passengers. We deliver high levels of services to our transport authority customers and strive to be a reliable partner to our industry colleagues. Through our robust business model, we are committed to delivering sustainable shareholder value. We also create benefits for the UK economy through the employment of over 27,500 people, the taxes we pay, payments to our suppliers and the contribution our rail franchises make to the government.

To build a sustainable business for the long term:

We reinvest profits into our services to maintain our position as a leading provider of passenger transport.