LONDON (Alliance News) - Go-Ahead Group PLC shares sank to the bottom of the FTSE 250 on Thursday, after reporting a 5.7% decline in annual pretax profit as strike action at the troubled Southern Railway line took its toll on the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise. Govia is the UK's largest rail operator, responsible for carrying over one-third of all the UK's passengers. Go-Ahead, with 65%, and Partner Keolis run the Govia franchise responsible for the Southeastern, London Midland, Thameslink, Great Northern and the troubled Southern line.
While London Midland performed "very well, driving up passenger volumes, revenue, customer satisfaction and employee engagement," and Southeastern also put in a "very good" performance and attaining the most improved customer satisfaction score in the sector, the GTR franchise responsible for Thameslink, Great Northern and Southern did not fare as well. "In GTR, industrial relations issues affected our customers, our colleagues and our profitability. We apologise to our Southern passengers who have been inconvenienced for many months by disruption caused by industrial action," said the company.