Aircoach parent says recent trading back on track

FirstGroup plans €587m handout to shareholders

Aberdeen-based FirstGroup  owns Ireland’s Aircoach business

Aberdeen-based FirstGroup owns Ireland’s Aircoach business

 

Transport giant FirstGroup said recent trading has been on track as it revealed plans to hand £500 million (€587m) back to shareholders.

Shares in the Aberdeen-based company, which owns Ireland’s Aircoach business, rose after it revealed it would return the cash to investors as part of a tender offer after selling its First Student and First Transit businesses.

In an update on Monday, FirstGroup chairman David Martin also said that trading has been “in line with our expectations year to date” as the firm continues its post-Covid recovery.

It said bus passenger volumes have reached 65 per cent of pre-pandemic levels on average in recent weeks, with this expected to increase further amid the return of students to schools and universities.

The update came ahead of the company’s annual general meeting, where chief executive Matthew Gregory will step down from his role. His departure came just a day after Coast Capital, the group’s biggest shareholder, called for his resignation. – PA