Rail and bus operator FirstGroup posted annual earnings in line with expectations, after rail passenger growth helped offset the impact of holidays and strikes on bus profits.
FirstGroup, the UK's largest bus company, also raised its final dividend by ten per cent to 12.815 pence.
"Trading in the new financial year has started well and is in line with our expectations," said chief executive MoirLockhead.
FirstGroup said pretax profit before goodwill and exceptionals for the year to the end of March was £163.3 million, compared with £161.3 million a year ago.
This was at the lower end of forecasts , which ranged from £ 162 million to £170.5 million. Turnover rose from £2.47 billion to £2.69 billion.
FirstGroup shares, which have fallen about 15 per cent since touching a six-year high in February, were down 0.6 per cent following the results.
Mr Lockhead said he was comfortable with market forecasts for pretax earnings to rise four to five per cent this year, and flagged further share buybacks during the year.
Its UK rail business outperformed after winning new franchises, but US bus earnings suffered because there were fewer school days in the period due to the timing of holidays.
Operating profits at FirstGroup's UK bus business fell slightly following a strike and some cost pressures.
However, the company said it expected to increase bus passengers and hoped higher volumes would more than offset some reduction in fuel hedging.
FirstGroup operates about 23 per cent of Britain's buses with a fleet of 9,300 vehicles. Its London bus business has been helped by the introduction of a congestion charge.
The group has been shortlisted for four new rail franchises which could be worth £1.1 billion. These are Kent, Greater Western, Thameslink/Great Northern and Docklands Light Railway.
"We're still preparing the bids, but we have good experience of running franchise rail operations and a good strike rate for winning bids," said Mr Lockhead.