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Finance case studies

Focused on accountability

customer service to improve customer retention and satisfaction and to invest in capability, processes and performance measures to reduce costs by making our operations reliable effective and efficient.

We continue to be one of the few FTSE 250 companies with the Fair Tax Mark – something that we were the first in the FTSE 350 to be accredited with at the scheme’s launch in 2014. The Board continues to work towards being assessed as ‘low risk’ by HMRC and ensure that we adhere to our policy of not undertaking tax planning or making use of tax havens.

Our devolved approach

Our devolved approach enables us to build management accountability at operating company level. It means that decisions can be taken locally about where to re-invest to deliver the maximum benefit for customers. A significant portion of our profits are reinvested in the business to increase opportunities for growth as well as drive further efficiency. Organisational efficiency programmes include upgrading IT systems and moving all Group companies to one enterprise platform. Our central procurement department achieves cost savings through negotiations on behalf of our operating companies and our central marketing function adds value by negotiating advertising space nationally rather than at individual company level.

Delivering savings

Our central procurement division has successfully delivered savings in the region of £4m across a range of contracts. For example the team has negotiated a telecommunications data contract leveraging the scale of our UK wide operations and the growing desirability of having Wifi service onboard our buses and trains and at stations.

Our suppliers play a strong role in helping us deliver our strategy and we aim to get the most from them. We aim to choose companies who act ethically and responsibly and by working in partnership with our suppliers we have continued to reduce our carbon, water and waste emissions. We have also signed up to the prompt payment code and follow the principles of the government’s better payment practice code.

Over the last few years we have invested in establishing a central services IT helpdesk team offering our operating companies 24 hour technical support. This shared service centre allows employees to log all faults ranging from a problem with equipment such as station ticket vending machines through to getting assistance over the phone or via online chat with a computer software problem or query.

A sustainable option

Go-Ahead has been commended by ethical funds on the corporate social responsibility information we publish, making it easier for investors to determine whether the Group meets the investment requirements of ethical funds. Recently, Kempen Capital Management (KCM) Ethical Funds has commended Go-Ahead on its sustainability information saying there was an ‘increased demonstration of business ethics performance due to introducing a corporate-wide code of conduct’.