Matthew Gregory named as new FirstGroup chief executive

image source, FirstGroup
image captionMatthew Gregory joined FirstGroup in 2015

Transport giant FirstGroup has named a new chief executive as it seeks to recover from financial losses.

The firm's interim chief operating officer, Matthew Gregory, has taken on the top job with immediate effect.

His appointment comes after former boss Tim O'Toole stood down in May after the firm announced heavy annual losses.

Chairman Wolfhart Hauser took over at the helm after Mr O'Toole's departure, but will now revert back to his non-executive chairman role.

Mr Gregory joined the Aberdeen-based group as chief financial officer in late 2015 from Essentra plc, where he had been group finance director for nearly three years.

His early career was spent at Rank Group and Ernst & Young.

Meanwhile, FirstGroup reported a statutory half-year loss of £4.6m, compared with a £1.9m loss last year.

The company runs FirstBus in the UK, as well as the Great Western Railway and South Western Railway franchises.

FirstGroup said the figures reflected restructuring and reorganisation costs from the withdrawal of Greyhound bus services in Western Canada.

Mr Gregory said: "We have made good progress in the first half delivering on our plans to strengthen the group.

"Although conditions in our markets remain challenging, our performance to date underpins the confidence we have in our unchanged outlook for the full year."

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