FirstGroup fears amid £300m loss due to coronavirus pandemic

The bus and rail firm said it may not be able to continue as a going concern following the losses.

Transport giant FirstGroup has warned it may not be able to continue as a going concern after suffering a £300m loss due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The bus and rail firm, based in Aberdeen, reported an operating loss of £52.7m for the year to March 31 against earnings of £9.8m the previous year.

Statutory pre-tax losses widened to £299.6m from losses of £97.9m the previous year after booking a raft of charges – including a £21.5m hit for the coronavirus crisis.

FirstGroup flagged a “material uncertainty” over its ability to continue as a going concern due to risks around the pandemic, but stressed it had “adequate” resources to carry on operating for the next 12 months.

Chief executive Matthew Gregory said: “We do not yet know the rate and extent of demand recovery, nor how long restrictions or social distancing will be in place.

“Nor do we know how government and customer support might taper, although it’s clear that governments and customers understand the key role that our services play.”

He added: “The importance of public transport to society has never been more clearly demonstrated, and we will continue to take all necessary measures to enable the group to emerge from this unprecedented situation in a robust position.”

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