13 facts about Southern Rail owner Go-Ahead

- Leadership - Sep 02, 2016

Go-Ahead, the owner of UK rail franchise Southern Rail has just reported profits of almost £100m, a revelation which has left commuters in London and southern England angry following months of delays, strikes and chaos on the network.

In a bid to calm the storm and improve the performance Southern, the UK government has pledged £20m despite the profits reported by Go-Ahead, owner of Govia, Southern’s parent company.

But what do we know about Go-Ahead? The RMT union said it was a “money-raking disaster that has turned Britain’s railways into a global laughing stock and they should be slung out and replaced by the public sector option”.

Here are some soundbite facts about the business:

  • Go-Ahead is the UK’s busiest rail operator with a 30 percent market share
  • Through various companies, it runs Great Northern, Thameslink, Southern, Gatwick Express, London Midland and South Eastern franchises in the UK
  • It also owns Go-Ahead Bahn and Bus, having been awarded contracts on the Baden-Wurttemberg rail network
  • Go-Ahead was founded in the 1980s as a small bus operator in the north east of England
  • Listed on the London Stock Exchange within the FTSE 250 in 1994
  • The company employs around 26,000 people in the UK
  • The Group listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1994 and is included in the FTSE 250
  • Go-Ahead runs many commercial bus routes in the UK, predominantly in the south, including 170 routes for TfL across London
  • It lists on its website a key rail market feature: “relatively fixed cost base, limiting flexibility to adapt to changes in the wider economy”
  • Revenue for 2016 reported at £3.36 billion
  • It runs 6,000 train services each weekday and carries more than a billion passengers on buses and trains a year
  • Go-Ahead claims an 89 percent customer satisfaction rating
  • It’s vision recorded on its website is “A world where every journey is taken care of”

Commenting on the Southern situation, David Brown, CEO of Go-Ahead, said: “A large part of the role of the GTR franchise is to introduce three new train fleets and modernise working practices. During this period of change, Southern services have been disrupted by restricted network capacity, strike action and increased levels of absence.

“We apologise to the people whose lives have been affected during this time. We continue to work closely with the Department for Transport, Network Rail and other suppliers and partners to operate the best service possible while delivering the long term improvements.”

Read the September 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

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