Issue 18/2012

1st June 2012

In this issue:

Industry developments this week

There was further coverage of FirstGroup’s troubles this week:

  •  Martin Gilbert’s place as FirstGroup chairman appeared uncertain, according to the Financial Times and Scotsman
  • The Daily Telegraph reported the group was looking for new non-executive directors to refresh its board
  • An opinion piece in the Independent assessed the group’s prospects, given its two profit warnings in the last 18 months

Network Rail stands to receive a £42m fine in 2014 if long distance train punctuality continues to fall short of targets. Transport Briefing

The threat of an Olympic tube strike looked to have ended after a deal was reached with all unions. Financial Times

New rail services

TfL plans to expand the London Overground network to cover services currently operated by Southeastern and Abellio. Transport Briefing

Other stories

Network Rail plans to launch an international consulting business. Transport Briefing

London’s new Blackfriars station, spanning the river Thames, will be the world’s largest solar bridge when it opens in June 2012. The Guardian

Southern’s Gatwick Express has reported a 17% increase in passengers in the past year.

Finance, business and sharecheck


Investor worries with FirstGroup’s performance are reflected in its share price.

  • Shares in FirstGroup sank 14 per cent in late March after a warning by the transport company that margins in its UK bus business would fall by more than a third this year. Financial Times
  • The group has sought to reassure investors after issuing aprofit warning, which it said related to an “unacceptable” performance from its 8,000-vehicle UK bus business. Transport Briefing

Go-Ahead started making contributions to the Treasury’s funds from April after reporting strong growth in its rail division. Daily Telegraph

  • Shares in the group rose by almost 5 per cent in late December after it raised full-year operating profit forecasts on the back of strong passenger growth at its rail franchises.

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