Go-Ahead Group

Ticker GOG

Today's data summary

Market open
% change
+0.24%
Price Pence
1668.00
Change
+4.00
As of 09:02 24 Sep 2018
Market cap. Pound sterling
719.33 million
As of 09:02 24 Sep 2018

Latest updates

Melrose tops FTSE 100 risers

Melrose Industries
Melrose Industries
Melrose Industries acquired GKN earlier this year for £8.1bn

Despite reporting a £303m interim loss, Melrose Industries is leading the FTSE 100 risers at midday.

The company, which succeeded in buying engineering firm GKN earlier this year for £8.1bn, saw its share price rise by 5.52% to £234.95.

Melrose said the loss was due to "significant acquisition related charges" but chief executive Christopher Miller said: "Plans have been agreed and are now being implemented to realise the full potential of GKN's world-leading, but currently under-developed, businesses."

British Gas-owner Centrica remained as a major blue chip riser - up 5.23% to 150.9p - after Ofgem announced a price cap on household energy bills.

The FTSE 100 is down 0.24% at 7,365.43.

Thameslink-owner Go-Ahead is the FTSE 250's biggest riser, up 6.6% at £17.45 after reporting better than expected full-year profits.

Sirius Minerals, which is seeking additional funding for its North Yorkshire potash mine, is down 10.4% at 29.17p.

The FTSE 250 is down 0.22% at 20,344.38.

Go-Ahead has 'optimistic tone'

Crowd at station
Susan Ramsdale

Go-Ahead, the parent company of Govia Thameslink Railway, is not exactly beloved by commuters after absolute chaos on its rail franchises.

The firm even went so far as to hire extra security to protect staff from angry punters.

Its shares are up 16% this morning after a rise in pre-tax profits.

Lee Wild, head of equity strategy at Interactive Investor says: "It would be difficult to imagine the new financial year being any harder, and there is an optimistic tone from management.

"Profit from regional buses is tipped to creep higher and there are plenty of London bus routes up for grabs. Expect improvements in rail, but much will depend on whether Go-Ahead keeps the Southeastern franchise which ends in March.

"Best news for shareholders is that free cash flow has underpinned the dividend and generous yield, and that this year should be strong, too.

"Unfortunately, there’s no news on a replacement for finance chief Patrick Butcher who recently announced he’ll be off to Capita in a few months’ time."

Go-Ahead shares surge, boss 'sorry' for chaos

Thameslink
PA

Go-Ahead's share price jumped by 14.98% to £18.85 after the parent company of the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise reported full-year pre-tax profits up 6.5% at £145.7m.

Profits rose despite a 0.6% fall in revenue to £3.4bn for the year to 30 June and a period of severe disruption on its Great Northern, Thameslink and Southern trains.

In May, passengers using Great Northern, Thameslink and Southern trains faced travel chaos when Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs the services, introduced new timetables.

Go-Ahead chief executive David Brown said: "In Thameslink and Great Northern, collective industry failures over the timetable change resulted in a period of service performance which was severely below our expectations and those of our customers.

"We are sorry for the significant disruption that the change caused to our passengers and are working very hard with the rest of the industry to improve the service."

Good morning!

Welcome to Business Live.

Dixons Carphone will give a trading update this morning - its first since admitting a massive data breach involving 5.9 million payment cards in June.

Among the other companies publishing their latest figures, transport group Go-Ahead will reveal its full-year results.

We will also be keeping an eye on the pound which rose against the dollar on a Bloomberg News report that Germany and the UK have made progress towards a Brexit deal.

As always, we'd love to hear from you. Email Business Live at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Govia Thameslink franchise 'not provided value for money'

Southern Rail worker
Getty Images

Passengers on Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern services have suffered the worst rail disruption in the UK, according to a highly critical report.

The National Audit Office (NAO) said the UK's largest rail franchise had not provided value for money.

It found the services had been the "worst on the network" since Govia Thameslink (GTR) took over the routes.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said industrial action had caused a shortage of train crews.

It is being blamed for not ensuring adequate staffing before awarding the franchise.

Government spending watchdog the NAO said GTR had too few drivers when it was awarded the Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise.

It added that since GTR started operating the full franchise in July 2015, 7.7% of services - about 146,000 services - had either been cancelled or delayed by more than 30 minutes, compared with 2.8% on the rest of the network.

Of these, more than one third were caused by train crew shortages.

Southern rail 'wholly focused' on improving service

A Southern rail train
PA

The group behind Southern rail is now "wholly focused" on improving services after train drivers ended their dispute with the strike-hit company.

Drivers in the Aslef union voted earlier this month to accept a deal to end its row with Southern over driver-controlled trains.

Go-Ahead, which runs Southern, said the number of cancellations on the franchise has fallen by 8% and punctuality levels have improved by 16% since the start of the year as union action has eased.

Chief Executive David Brown added: "Following the end of Aslef's long-standing dispute with Southern, we are wholly focused on further improving the service for passengers and supporting the completion of the Thameslink Programme."

The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) has meanwhile refused to call off its action against Southern.