Go-Ahead reports jumps in profits and passengers numbers

<p>Rail and bus company Go-Ahead has recorded a 44.5 per cent jump in yearly profits.</p>

Rail and bus company Go-Ahead has enjoyed a strong 2014 and has recorded a significant jump in profits over the course of the year.

The Newcastle-based firm reported a 44.5 per cent increase in yearly profits to £91.2 million thanks to a record number of passengers. Go-Ahead has benefited from closing its defined benefit pension scheme which secured a £12.1 million gain for the group. The company is now looking forward to the coming year with a number of projects in the pipeline.

Go-Ahead currently owns a major stake in Govia which, along with Thameslink, was recently awarded a new franchise for the Thameslink rail network. The Department for Transport awarded the franchise to the joint venture in May and will see the companies oversee services from London to the likes of Brighton, Peterborough and Cambridge among other south-east destinations.

Spanning for seven years, Govia Thameslink will be responsible for the delivery of almost 1,400 new electric carriages to provide 50 per cent more capacity and 10,000 extra seats every weekday. The joint venture aims to ease the morning commute into central London by the end of 2018, providing more efficient, cleaner and more reliable journeys.

David Brown, Go-Ahead group chief executive, spoke of his delight at the company's performance: "This was a particularly busy and exciting year for Go-Ahead in which we made excellent progress towards our strategic objectives. We remained focused on delivering high quality value for money services for our passengers and strengthened the finances of the business.

"We continued to make a positive contribution to society through the services we run, careful environmental stewardship and the taxes we pay."

Go-Ahead's bus operations also performed well over the 12 months to June 28th 2014 with customer satisfaction hitting 92 per cent.

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