Go-Ahead, the bus and train operator, is set to report upbeat news about passenger numbers, fuel supplies and its airport ground handling business Aviance when it updates the market next week.
The trading statement ahead of its full-year results “could surprise positively on volume growth, fuel hedging and the turnaround in the aviation business,” broker Merrill Lynch said in a note.
The transport firm left the West Midlands after two years, selling its Go West Midlands (GWM) subsidiary to Rotala for £2 million, in March this year.
GWM, which operated 134 buses and depots at Tividale, Redditch and West Bromwich, agreed the deal in the light of an £8.2 million write-down on its West Midlands bus operations.
The write-down came because the firm could not compete with National Express’ Travel West Midlands services, the group had said.
It emerged last month that Aviance was closing its ground handling operations at London’s Gatwick Airport, with a trade union claiming the move could result in the loss of 300 jobs.
Analysts predict that Go-Ahead is likely to become the best-hedged bus operator and that closing Aviance’s unprofitable Gatwick operation should stabilise performance.
Deutsche Bank said in a note on Friday that it believes the market is underestimating the recent progress made by Go-Ahead in several business areas.
It added the company’s rail business is unlikely to disappoint again following a re-profiling of its Southern rail franchise with the Department for Transport.
It is believed that Go-Ahead has a 25 per cent chance of winning back its Southern rail franchise, which expires in September next year.