By Tom Burridge
Transport correspondent, BBC News
By Tom Burridge
Transport correspondent, BBC News
Shares in Go-ahead - which operates Thameslink and Southeastern rail franchises, as well as bus routes - are trading about 20% lower.
The fall comes after the group announced a rise in revenues to £1.97bn in the six months to 28 December, but a fall in pre-tax profits from £61m to £49m.
It also said the coronavirus outbreak had affected the number of travellers on some of its services.
"While it is unclear how the coronavirus situation will evolve in the coming weeks, travel patterns are likely to be impacted in the second half of the year," said group chief executive David Brown.
The FTSE 250 also had a positive start to the day, opening 48 points higher at 19,121.
Entertainment One, the production company behind Peppa Pig, was trading 15% higher after it said its president Mark Gordon - a familiar face on the red carpet - would continue to work with the firm, despite a report that said he was leaving his role.
Go-Ahead was also doing well with shares up almost 10% after it increased its expectations for full year results in its bus business.
Go-Ahead has issued a trading update.
It says its expectations for its full year in the London and international bus division have increased "due to strong operational performance, including in Singapore and Dublin".
"In rail, Southeastern remains the best performing large UK train franchise, with the highest levels of punctuality in its history. Service levels at GTR continue to improve with punctuality for the month of April reaching 89.3%, a record level for the franchise, after nine consecutive months of year on year improvement," said chief executive David Brown.
BBC Radio 4
"The real lesson that came out of earlier this year and the Glaister report is that our rail industry is too fragmented - accountability is too fragmented to deal with the pressures on it," said Transport Sec
"The system is bursting at the seems and actually there isn't enough clear line of accountability to actually run the railway properly.
"The reality is that the system is full."
He gives the example of between Wimbledon and Waterloo where, in the morning there are 19 trains at the peak time. That is busy as any railway line in Europe he says.
"If the slightest thing goes wrong then it can disrupt the network significantly," Mr Grayling says.
BBC Radio 4
The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is on the Today Programme being asked if he should take responsibility for the meltdown over railway timetables changes earlier this year.
"At no point did I get the information that I would have needed to intervene," he told the Today Programme.
"A couple of weeks before this timetable was introduced, the leaders of the industry, the independent body that had been set up to monitor the preparedness of the timetable change sat in my office and said it would be fine."
"I accept responsibility for myself and the department not asking tough enough questions," he said.
BBC Radio 4
Yesterday on the Today Programme the chairman of HS2, Sir Terry Morgan, said the rail project has an issue with costs.
At the moment the estimated cost of the whole project - linking London to Manchester, Leeds and Sheffield - is £56bn.
However an industry expert told the Today Programme that the cost of the first phase - London to Birmingham - is £55.95bn.
The government says that first phase will cost £27bn.
"It's very difficult to see how you maintain a positive, attractive cost benefit analysis... when the costs have probably doubled. That cost benefit analysis will probably have disappeared," said Michael Byng, who wrote the railway industry's guidelines on how to estimate project costs.
You might remember the rail chaos earlier this year, when new timetables were introduced to the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).
Since that shambles, the operator of the franchise until 2021, Go-Ahead has been in talks with the government and today has announced an agreement.
Under the deal GTR is paying an extra £15m for "passenger enhancements".
Also a profit sharing scheme has been introduced which will reduce GTR's profit margin to between 0.75% and 1%, previously the upper level was 1.5%.
The franchise is not expected to make a profit this year.
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."
BBC Radio 4
David Brown, chief executive of Go-Ahead, said last week's report by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) into the timetable chaos was "extremely fair".
It concluded that "no-one took charge" during the changes to the timetable in May, which mainly affected Northern Trains in the north west of England and Govia Thameslink (GTR) routes into London.
Go-Ahead is the parent company of GTR.
A review has been announced by the government and Brown was asked if the UK needed a new Strategic Rail Authority, which was scrapped ten years ago.
"It could be one of the outcomes of that review," Mr Brown said.
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, 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'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."
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 email@example.com
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.
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.