The latest financial results for the Go Ahead group were published this week and show a healthy picture overall. In fairness both bus and rail divisions performed in line with expectations however what let the side down was industrial action with the troubled GRT rail franchise.
What also did well was the new bus division in Singapore which is bedding down and will be improved by the recent purchase of two other Companies that will compliment the investment. The UK bus Companies overall did ok but clear regional variations exist, reflecting local trends, noticeably slow downs in passenger numbers on bus were hardest hit in the north-east and Oxford.
It is quite amazing to think that the aGo Ahead group started out as a humble bus Company up in Newcastle, back in the early days of deregulation when Arthur Townsend and Chris Moyes brought out the local national Bus Company that they managed and then developed a shrewd process of acquisitions that today sees a business that generated revenues of £1.67 billion and enjoys a share price of 1,981.00 although the shares were once at a high of 2310.00.
The only sadness is that both died before the full potential had been realised, however their business is in strong, reliable hands with David Brown as the CEO, and a good guy he is to boot.
So I shall continue to watch this space and reflect on good memories of enjoying a beer and a good chat with Chris in the palatial splendour of Durham Castle at a conference a few years ago. He was a real gentleman of the old school, a very modest but super intelligent and friendly man his early death was a sad blow to the industry but his memory and legacy live on.