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Millbrook 2018
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November 22 2017
By Mel Holley

A former routeone editor, Mel has more than 30 years’ experience in road and rail transport journalism.

Changes coming to First as investment cut

A “systematic programme of management actions” has delivered a small rise in First Bus UK’s revenue, up by 1.3% from commercial passengers. It is also poised to change its networks, says Group CEO Tim O’Toole.

It has carried out its threat to “focus our capital budget only on those markets where our stakeholders recognise the value of bus services, and the local transport strategy recognises the importance of bus services in responding to the problems of congestion, air quality, parking and issues of social exclusion.”

It adds that due to “market uncertainties” there will be “further changes to the shape and breadth of our networks,” by March 2018.

For the financial year to March 2018 it is buying 180 new buses, down from 272 in 2016/17.

Announcing its interim results for the six months to 30 September First Bus UK made a £15.8m operating profit on a £428m revenue, a margin of 3.7%, up from 3.2% in the previous period.

It says “demand patterns vary widely across the local markets. Industry conditions remain uncertain, with high street retail footfall trends and congestion affecting passenger demand in many of our markets, particularly in the north and Scotland.

Find out more: Full interim report here

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