Passengers have returned to bus travel this winter, UK transport company FirstGroup has said, pointing to recovery for the sector that suffered at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The FTSE 250 group on Friday raised its profit guidance for the full year as it posted a recovery in bus passenger volumes to 83 per cent of their 2020 equivalent levels.
Full-year 2023 adjusted operating profit and adjusted attributable profit will be ahead of the group’s previous expectations, FirstGroup said in a statement on Friday, adding that its expectations for 2024 “remain unchanged”.
The rise was partly driven by government initiatives including a £2 cap fare in England and free bus travel for people under the age of 22 in Scotland.
“I am pleased by the group’s progress in the second half of our 2023 financial year,” said chief executive Graham Sutherland.
FirstGroup said it had recruited and retained more bus drivers in recent months.
Shares in FirstGroup fell about 1 per cent in early London trading on Friday.