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FirstGroup 5-month Trading Stronger Than Expected; Sees Small Adj. Profit In H1, Above View

FirstGroup plc (FGROY.PK,FGROF.PK,FGP.L), a provider of transport services in the UK and North America, reported Tuesday that it recorded stronger than expected financial performance in the five months from April 1 to August 31.

Adjusted operating profit and cash from operations were ahead of expectations during the period, driven by better revenue recovery and strong cost control.

In its trading update, ahead of today's Annual General Meeting, the company said it now expects to deliver a small adjusted operating profit for the seasonally weaker first half of the financial year, ahead of expectations earlier this summer.

Further, the company said the Board is resolutely focused on executing the portfolio rationalisation strategy through divestment of the North American businesses and is encouraged by significant interest from potential buyers.

FirstGroup Chief Executive Matthew Gregory said, "Passengers can be confident that public transport is safe and we are encouraged that activity levels are increasing, especially since the start of the new school year on both sides of the Atlantic. ….We continue to take all necessary action to protect the business and to ensure the Group is in the most robust position possible to deliver on our strategic plans."

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