Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 2282H
Go-Ahead Group PLC
05 April 2022
 

5 April 2022

 

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION

 

THE GO-AHEAD GROUP PLC

("GO-AHEAD" OR "THE GROUP")


Conclusions of Business Review

 

The Go-Ahead Group today announces the conclusions of a Business Review headed by Group Chief Executive, Christian Schreyer.

The company will reinstate its pre-COVID dividend policy of paying a dividend to shareholders equivalent to between 50% and 75% of underlying earnings per share from FY22. The Board intends to recommend a dividend of not less than 50p in respect of the year ending 2 July 2022 (FY22) in line with this policy.

A presentation to analysts and investors will be given by Christian Schreyer at 9.00am today (details below).

Highlights

New strategy: "The Next Billion Journeys":
Three strategic priorities have been identified, aimed at delivering profitable and sustainable growth in existing and new markets:

·    Performance improvement

Enhance the basics by focusing on operational excellence, particularly in performance management, standardisation of processes and digitalisation

Turnaround underperforming operating companies

Reduce the zero-emission breakeven point to accelerate fleet decarbonisation

 

·    Grow organically and externally

Accelerate passenger recovery and increase modal shift

Grow in existing geographies, notably the UK regional bus market, maintain London market share and promote an attractive model for Passenger Service Contracts in the UK rail market

Replicate the successful London & International Bus business model in selected international markets, exploring partnership and acquisition opportunities where appropriate

 

·    Progress new opportunities by leveraging existing capabilities and resources

Explore new urban mass transit modes such as metro, light rail and bus rapid transit

Accelerate in B2B, such as airport transport and rail replacement services

Explore new services within the mobility value chain with existing capabilities and resources, such as zero emission services, Mobility as a Service (Maas) operation and property utilisation

Financial targets:

·    An increase in annual Group revenue to around £4 billion, up by around 30%*, in the medium-term

·    An increase in annual Group operating profit to at least £150 million in the medium-term

·    Dividend payout between 50% and 75% of earnings per share beginning FY22

·    Adjusted net debt to EBITDA[1] maintained within the existing target range of between 1.5 and 2.5 times


Following the business review, the Group has reaffirmed its commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 75% by 2035.

*excluding recently discontinued operations

Christian Schreyer, Group Chief Executive, said:

"This is an exciting moment for Go-Ahead.  My review of the business has found fundamental strengths, and has identified areas where we can deliver improvements and sustainable growth. We plan to strengthen, digitalise and decarbonise our operations, delivering greater profitability and stronger returns to investors alongside improvements for our customers and communities.

"Transport is at a tipping point as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of mass transport is growing, reflecting trends in climate change, digitalisation, urbanisation and demographics around the world; and there are increasing opportunities for private operators to bring their expertise to public transport markets. Go-Ahead's core strength is in commuter transport and we see opportunities to grow by encouraging people to leave their cars at home, by winning new contracts and through carefully selected acquisitions.

"Today, we've set ambitious, but deliverable, targets. It has been a challenging two years for public transport but there is an exciting future ahead for Go-Ahead."

The person responsible for arranging the release of this announcement on behalf of the Group is Carolyn Ferguson, Company Secretary.

 

END

Presentation and webcast:

A presentation for analysts and investors will be held at 9.00am today at the offices of Investec, 30 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7QP. Presentation materials can be found at www.go-ahead.com.

A live webcast will also be available. To register, please use the following link: https://edge.media-server.com/mmc/p/c7v6zmeg

For further information, please contact:

Andrew Clark      07977 343846            communications@go-ahead.com       

 

 

Go-Ahead

Go-Ahead is a leading public transport operator, connecting communities through bus and rail services. Our purpose is to be the local partner taking care of journeys that enhance the lives and wellbeing of our communities across the world. 

We employ more than 27,000 people across our bus and rail businesses in the UK, Singapore, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Germany. In addition to the travelling public, our customers include governments and local authorities. We are committed to tackling climate change, poor air quality and social isolation.

Bus

Go-Ahead is one of the UK's largest bus operators. We run a fleet of more than 6,000 buses across England and run a quarter of London's buses for Transport for London. Outside London, we serve high-density commuter markets in the North East, Greater Manchester, East Yorkshire, Oxfordshire, East Anglia, the South East and the South West of England. Internationally, we operate buses in Singapore, Sweden and Ireland.

Rail

We operate rail franchises in the UK, Germany and Norway. In the UK, we run the country's largest passenger contract, Govia Thameslink Railway, comprising Southern, Gatwick Express, Great Northern and Thameslink. This is managed through our 65 per cent owned subsidiary Govia, which is 35 per cent owned by Keolis.  In Germany and Norway, our contracts are run exclusively by Go-Ahead. 

 

 

 

 

 

[1] On a pre-IFRS basis, in line with bank covenants

 

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