GTR reaches contractual agreement with DfT, including £15m customer benefits package

The Go-Ahead Group plc (“Go-Ahead”) is pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached with the Department for Transport (“DfT”) regarding contractual matters in relation to the GTR franchise.

This agreement resolves matters relating to the industry-wide failures concerning the introduction of the May timetable, as well as bringing to a close discussions around other outstanding contractual variations.

As part of the agreement, a plan for the remainder of the franchise term to 2021 has been agreed, aimed at building on recent performance improvement and improving customer journeys. GTR will provide £15m of funding this year for passenger enhancements.

The agreement reduces uncertainty around the future of the GTR franchise and its financial performance.  A profit-sharing mechanism with the DfT will also be introduced for the remainder of the franchise.  As a result, the margin over the franchise term is now expected to be between 0.75 to 1 per cent (previously 0.75 to 1.5 per cent), with no profit expected in the current financial year.  The Group’s full year expectations for the current financial year remain unchanged, in line with the trading update published on 29 November 2018.

Go-Ahead Chief Executive, David Brown, said:

“We recognise that the industry-wide failures in delivering the May timetable created huge difficulties for our customers, and we are sorry for the poor service they received.  Since the introduction of the interim timetable in July, performance has greatly improved, and now includes over 200 new services for customers, with further additional services to be introduced this month.  This agreement will deliver additional benefits to passengers to be agreed in consultation with our customers.”

-ENDS-

For further information, please contact:

The Go-Ahead Group

David Brown, Group Chief Executive
020 7799 8971

Elodie Brian, Interim Group Chief Financial Officer
020 7799 8973

Mitesh Kotecha, Interim Head of Investor Relations
020 7799 8984

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Michael Berkeley/ Angharad Couch/ Toby Moore
020 7638 9571

GO-AHEAD

Go-Ahead is a leading UK public transport operator, providing high quality services in the bus and rail sectors. Employing around 28,000 people across our businesses, over one billion passenger journeys are undertaken on our services each year. We are committed to operating our companies in a safe, socially and environmentally responsible way and are proud to have been the first FTSE250 company to be certified with FTSE4Good accreditation and have been recertified for seven consecutive years. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include the Department for Transport, Transport for London (TfL) and local authorities.

BUS

Go-Ahead is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. With a fleet of around 5,000 buses, we carry over two million passengers every day. Our operations are focused on high density commuter markets. We have a strong presence in London, with around 23 per cent market share, where we provide regulated services for TfL. Outside London, we operate services in Oxford, East Anglia, Hull, the South East, Southern and north east England. In September 2016, the Group began operating a bus contract in Singapore, and in September 2018 began operating one of two Irish bus contracts.

RAIL

The rail operation, Govia, is 65 per cent owned by Go-Ahead and 35 per cent by Keolis. It is the largest rail operation in the UK, responsible for over 30 per cent of all UK passenger rail journeys through its rail franchises: GTR (Govia Thameslink Railway) and Southeastern.

Disclaimer

Certain statements included in this press release contain forward-looking information concerning the Group’s strategy, operations, financial performance or condition, outlook, growth opportunities or circumstances in the sectors or markets in which the Group operates. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve uncertainty because they depend of future circumstances, and relate to events, not all of which are within the Group’s control or can be produced by the Group. Although the Group believes that the expectations reflected in such forward–looking statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations will prove to have been correct.  Nothing in this press release should be construed as a profit forecast and no part of these results constitutes, or shall be taken to constitute, an invitation or inducement to invest in The Go-Ahead Group plc or any other entity, and must not be relied upon in any way in connection with any investment decision.  Except as required by law, the Group undertakes no obligation to update any forward looking statement.