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Railhub Archive
2014-11-27 FIR-001


Intercity East Coast franchise competition

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FirstGroup plc

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Intercity East Coast franchise competition

27 November 2014
source FirstGroup
type Press release


FirstGroup notes the announcement today by the Department for Transport (‘DfT’) concerning the new InterCity East Coast franchise.

Commenting, Tim O’Toole, FirstGroup’s Chief Executive, said:

“Our bid for the East Coast franchise was ambitious yet realistic. Had it been selected, it would have created a world class railway for passengers and value for taxpayers with a balanced level of risk and returns for shareholders.

“As one of the UK's most experienced operators, we remain committed to the rail market but we are dissatisfied not to have secured any of the franchises that have come up for tender in this first round.

“Whilst we will retain a disciplined approach to bidding, we will continue to examine and assess the feedback from this and previous rail bids to help shape our approach to future competitions.

“We are shortlisted to run the next TransPennine Express franchise, and are negotiating with the DfT to extend our current operation of that route to February 2016. We are also negotiating with the DfT for a direct award to operate First Great Western, our largest franchise, through to at least March 2019.

“There are 12 franchise competitions still to take place and we remain focused on reaching our desired position in rail by the end of the process, which is to achieve earnings on a par with the previous franchising cycle at an acceptable level of risk and return.”

Notes to Editors:

About FirstGroup plc

FirstGroup plc (LSE: FGP.L) is the leading transport operator in the UK and North America. With revenues of more than £6.7 billion and around 117,000 employees in 2013/14, we transported around 2.5 billion passengers last year. Each of our five divisions is a leader in its field: First Student is the largest provider of student transportation in North America with a fleet of around 49,000 yellow school buses, First Transit is one of the largest providers of outsourced transit management and contracting services in the US, while Greyhound is the only national operator of scheduled intercity coach services across North America. In the UK, FirstGroup is one of Britain's largest bus operators running a fleet of some 6,400 buses, and we are one of the most experienced operators of passenger rail services in the UK, carrying more than 330 million passengers last year, with experience of running all types of rail network.

Our vision is to provide solutions for an increasingly congested world, keeping people moving and communities prospering.

Visit our website at:

Contacts at FirstGroup:
Rachael Borthwick, Group Corporate Communications Director
Faisal Tabbah, Group Investor Relations Manager
Stuart Butchers, Group Head of Media
Tel: +44 20 7725 3354

Contacts at Brunswick PR: Michael Harrison/Andrew Porter, Tel: +44 20 7404 5959

Stuart Butchers
Group Head of Media
Office : 020 7291 0507 50 Eastbourne Terrace, London W2 6LG
Mobile : 07713 317979

FirstGroup plc, registered in Scotland number 157176
Registered office : 395 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5RP

Railhub Archive ::: 2014-11-27 FIR-001


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