FirstGroup Live Discussion

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pyueck 08 Jun 2018

Re: First's heritage/future from local paper... If firstgroup is not to be broken up, which I hope it will be, and is to remain an independent company I think that it should re-locate away from Aberdeen.I know aberdeen well and love the city but it is not the right place for Firstgroup to be located. Firstgroup has no train companies in Scotland and it's rail services all operate from London with the exception of TPE.I also think that being in Aberdeen has allowed FGP to escape rigorous review at AGM's and has impacted it's ability to recruit high quality staff. In addition it causes extra time and costs for travel to it's large operations in the US.

Norman Barrington 08 Jun 2018

First's heritage/future from local paper today High level talks between Aberdeen City Council and First Bus are to take place – with the local authority understood to be maneuvering for a future bid to run the city’s buses in the future.First Bus took over Aberdeen services in 1989 and senior First figures have poured cold water on the idea of a sale, saying they are “not interested”.Setting up a council-run bus company, similar to the city’s previous Grampian buses or Edinburgh’s Lothian buses, has however been at the heart of Aberdeen Labour’s manifesto during last year’s local elections.And council co-leader Jenny Laing, of Aberdeen Labour, said she had instructed civil servants to begin talks about the “company’s intentions” for the future.The break-up of FirstGroup has been predicted by city analysts since a preliminary takeover bid from North American private equity investor Apollo Asset Management.It is understood that if the council took over First Aberdeen it would run all the services and take over the bus depot on King Street.Council leaders are waiting on the publication of a new transport bill this month which is predicted to give powers to councils to run services.Mrs Laing said: “I have today instructed our director of resources, Steven Whyte, to liaise with First Bus Aberdeen in order to get a better understanding of the company’s intentions for Aberdeen following the announcement that the First Group are looking to restructure the company.“I am positive that the people of Aberdeen would be pleased to see a municipal bus company established in the city to run buses for and on behalf of the citizens.“We are obviously at a very early stage of trying to progress these plans and the legislation which would enable local authorities to proceed is currently not in place.“However, the administration is keen to continue to explore all options regarding the setting up of a municipal bus company in Aberdeen.”David Phillips, operations director for First Aberdeen said in response: “We are not interested in selling all or part of the business.“We simply would not have gone through the heartache and pain of scaling the business over the past year in a bid to meet the challenges of the current economic climate in Aberdeen, if our plans were simply to sell up.“Aberdeen is birthplace of First Group and will remain an important part of our business moving forward.” PS In case iii does a TSB over the weekend goodbye all - it's been nice knowing you!

raptor66 08 Jun 2018

Re: Is nobody else furious Some weeds have beautiful flowers too.Maybe we can get this weed to flower if we can get more weeds out of the FGP board??

wuffet 08 Jun 2018

Re: Is nobody else furious Hi I think the short answer as to why they did what they did is because they can. FGP is 95% owned by institutional shareholders and they could exert pressure for change. O'Toole has gone but looking at the generous remuneration packages and salaries etc of directors none of them are going to volunteer to throw themselves under the bus (pardon the pun). To be fair 99% of the time everyone on discussion boards as shareholders immediately say directors should accept any offer that comes in without knowing full details as we are as greedy as they are but in this case I totally appreciate the frustration.Patience it seems is required, or sell the weed and find a flower!!Good luck

pyueck 08 Jun 2018

Is nobody else furious I am a little bit angry. I am still struggling to understand how FGP pushed away a bid from Apollo, without even telling us what the offer price or conditions were and then proceeded to give a shocking set of results which is causing the shareprice to crash. Why?Surely given the mammoth uncertainly as to whether the company can recover from the awful trading update and insipid outlook (let me make it clear that saying next years results will be broadly in line with this years is not good enough) the best thing to do would have been to try and get 130p for shareholders.As I said at the time of the bid, whatever FGP directors do they shouldn't allow the bidders to walk away, who wouldn't accept even 115p now? The board allowed Apollo to walk away, how was that in the interest of shareholders. I don't even really get what Tim O'Toole gained from it, his reputation is now in shreds, surely if he accepted the bid he would have left with at least some dignity.At the very least they should have by now sold off Greyhound, how much is this review going to cost and how much will any turnaround plan wipe off next years profits. In my opinion get it sold or wind it up and sell off the depots and expensive HQ and then either return money to shareholders or pay down debt. Decisive action is what this company needs not a room of £400 an hour consultants in for 6 months.

pyueck 04 Jun 2018

Why can’t we hand it back? Just a question, why can Stagecoach and virgin hand back the east coast mainline when they got their sums wrong but FirstGroup is shouldering all the losses on TPE?

Punilux 02 Jun 2018

Re: Another stunning set of results Has anyone spotted what was supposed to have happened between Feb 7th, when everything including Greyhound and TPE were all OK, and 31st May ? If, and it is a big if, T O'T misled the markets, why is he walking with £700,000 + ? Why is the chairman, now £300,000 PA better off when he could be considered, at least, partially responsible? (Figures from D Telegraph)

Derek Hope 01 Jun 2018

After hours buying Colossal number of shares seem to have gone through after hours today. I hope this is a portent of things to come. I shall hold out for better things. ODD.

Shotry 01 Jun 2018

bought a few this morning at 93.5 area. If it's good enough for the directors, it's maybe worth a punt.

dronaig 31 May 2018

Worst investment. This is horrendous. I’m tempted to dump the lot and buy a load of the highest risk AIM company and see what happens because Turnaround or Takeover (ToT) I cant see SP recovery for a long while. At least the Aberdeen buses are running today...

pyueck 31 May 2018

Pleased he has gone - profits? - dividend Firstly I am pleased Tim O'Toole has gone. His turnaround strategy has been confirmed in today's results to have failed, the bid he signed off on for TPE a financial disaster and his dismissal of the Apollo bid, without even giving shareholders the respect of letting them know the price was at best arrogant. He has enjoyed bumper payouts himself, with very dubious incentive schemes with next to no regard for how his bonuses are aligned to the interest of shareholders. In short his time was up and he had to go, I suspect he was pushed or at least came under insurmountable pressure from large shareholders. The results today are awful, again. We were told back when the rights issue was announced that there would be a margin improvement scheme. Margins are going backwards. The outlook for next year of flat operating profits is just not good enough.The writeoff's of greyhound goodwill, while not surprising, reinforce that this is a company happy to regularly write off all profits every 5 years via writedowns. The TPE writedown is even more worrying that the company could sign off such outrageous passenger growth figures in their bids. Quite honestly why any company would bid for a rail bid now is beyond me, too much risk for any reward, and that is before Corbyn becomes PM.On cashflow, it's good to see that the group is cash positive, but this is expected to be significantly lower than I once expected due to poor operational performance and I can't be anything but concerned about the impact of pensions long term to the group. Dividends look as far off as at anytime. Refinancing of debt at lower rates should still be possible and be cash positive long term, but the rates may not be as low as hoped due to the dire results.In terms of the strategic review of greyhound, well it's again half hearted. If they have sold a few depots for hundreds of millions, why not look at closing the whole thing and selling off the real estate? Or just ipo the US operations off completely. Shareholders want to see radical action to turn things around and return them cash, not just a few rearranging of the deckchairs to then the told there is a fire burning somewhere else in this company.Maybe we can get a new CEO that the market trusts, but be under no illusion turning around this company will not be easy. It will be turnaround plan v2, which always have lower success rates than v1. Or maybe just ask for Apollo to come back. Did their bid fundamentally undervalue the company? Maybe O'Toole regrets not taking the bid now as he munches his golden cornflakes, at least he could have left with an ounce of dignity.

Punilux 31 May 2018

Re: Another stunning set of results Maybe rose coloured spectacles but:A) T O'T has gone.B) It is now more likely that bits of FGP will be sold off, if not the whole company.C) I don't understand the problems with Trans Penine - They have just been "given" a chunk of Northern Rail's services because the latter are even worse.D) According to previous excuses, cheap fuel is detrimental to FGP results because more people use their car rather than public transport. Now 125.9p at my local Tesco from 107.9p last year.E) No intention of "wasting" money by sorting out awful pension shortfall.

magoo100 31 May 2018

Another stunning set of results Well,can’t really add to these only with a last line comment,disaster

dronaig 30 May 2018

Re: Finals tomorrow Jus two points...Might we see a dividend - albeit a miniscual one?And might we see renewed interest in takeover post results?Er ... might the answer to both of these be no and no....

hairyhelmet 30 May 2018

Re: Finals tomorrow Pyueck. Some people that are new to FGP might think you are having a laugh. However I have been dealing in them for a very long time and consider your list quite fair. I would be very surprised, astounded even, if management can`t come up with a new excuse though. I have placed a soft pillow at my desk for tomorrow in case I feel like banging my head.HH

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