FirstGroup to hit full-year targets

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The bus and train operator FirstGroup issued a bullish trading update yesterday, telling investors it was on track to hit full-year targets.

The company, which also runs the Greyhound bus service in the United States, said that moderate earnings growth was due to reduced costs and improved passenger revenues during the first half of the financial year.

FirstGroup said the environment for its UK bus business remained challenging, but that it had grown like-for-like passenger revenues by 1.3 per cent. First-half revenues grew 4.4 per cent at its UK trains unit, with all its businesses showing improved passenger volumes.

Last week, the company said that chief executive Moir Lockhead, who has run the group for more than 15 years, was to step down. He will be replaced by the former London Underground head Tim O'Toole.