Southern rail owners report £99m profits, despite widespread misery for commuters

he company which owns the Southern Rail operator Govia Thameslink Railway has reported profits of nearly £100 million over the past year, despite widespread misery for commuters using the service.

Go-Ahead has reported a 21 per cent jump in pre-tax profits to £99.8 million, while revenues for the 12 months to July 2 rose 4.5 per cent to £3.4 billion. The results sent the FTSE 250 company’s shares surging 8.6 per cent.

Go-Ahead’s rail business, which also handles the Southeastern and London Midland franchises, as well as the troubled Southern network that is part of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), enjoyed a 4.2 per cent rise in revenues to almost £2.5 billion. Adjusted operating profits at the division rose by £15.3 million to £57 million, although the struggling GTR business did not contribute to profits.

Even so, the jump in overall profits at Go-Ahead, which operates GTR with France’s Keolis as part of their Govia joint venture, is likely to anger commuters who have endured months of delays and cancellations on Southern, chaos that has been exacerbated by strikes sparked by an industrial dispute between the RMT union and GTR.