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FirstGroup Updates On TransPennine Express Contract

FirstGroup plc (FGROY.PK,FGROF.PK,FGP.L) said that it has reached agreement with the Department for Transport or 'DfT on the termination fee payable for the TransPennine Express or 'TPE' train operating company.

The Transport Department and FirstGroup have now agreed the financial impact of the termination for TPE which requires a further FirstGroup contribution of 6 million pounds, over and above the 42.5 million pounds already paid into the operating company.

The Department has extended the TPE ERMA term until 19 September 2021, following their conclusion that no event of default would have taken place had the pandemic not occurred, although the Department and the Group are working collaboratively with a view to entering into a National Rail Contract in advance of that date.

As at 31 March 2020, 80 million pounds remained of the Group's contingent capital exposure to the TPE contract that had been provided for in the accounts as an impairment of Right of Use Assets under IFRS 16.

The ERMA for SWR is in place to the end of May 2021 and the West Coast Partnership ERMA is in place until the end of March 2022.

Latest indications from the DfT are that the new National Rail Contracts would have a core period to the end of May 2023 for TPE and SWR, and up to 31 March 2032 for the West Coast Partnership.

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