RMT condemns “obscene” First Group profits
RMT: May 14 2008
SPECIALIST transport union RMT condemned First Group profits announced today as obscene, calling for the rail and bus operator’s services to be returned to the public sector.
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said: “Given that its subsidiary First Great Western has faced passenger fare strikes over its poor performance and overcrowding and has been forced by the government to implement a remedial plan, these figures are obscene.
“Millions upon millions of pounds continue to pour into shareholders’ pockets – money that should be invested into developing the company’s rail and bus services.
“The profits throw into sharp focus the folly of the Scottish executive’s recent three-year extension to the First ScotRail franchise. New revenue sharing arrangements are favourable to First and a profit-sharing scheme allows it to make £30 million a year before the extension even kicks in.
“Today’s announcement perfectly illustrates why Britain’s rail and bus services must be returned to public ownership in order that they are operated in the national interest rather than those of greedy shareholders.”
Notes for editors:
First Group’s preliminary results for the year to March 31, 2008 showed:
• Adjusted Operating Profit of £360.1 million across the group, up almost 40% from last year.
• UK Rail Adjusted Operating profit of £120 million, an increase of 10.3% on last year.
• UK Bus Adjusted Operating Profit of £122 million, an increase of 18.4% on last year. Operating margins are 11%.
• Dividend payments of £69.5million.