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FIRSTGROUP PLC - South Western Railway Contract Extension



FirstGroup plc ('FirstGroup' or ‘the Group') today announces that the Department for Transport (‘DfT’) have exercised their option to continue the current contractual arrangements for the Group’s South Western Railway (‘SWR’) train operating company for the full two year extension period, as set out in SWR’s National Rail Contract (‘NRC’). The current NRC, which began in May 2021, will now run until 25 May 2025 on the existing terms.

Commenting, Graham Sutherland, FirstGroup Chief Executive Officer said:

“We welcome the contract extension for South Western Railway, which enables us to build on the achievements of the first two years of the contract and continue improving the customer offering. We are committed to working closely with government and our partners to deliver a successful railway network that provides vital connections for customers and communities along the SWR route.”

Contacts at FirstGroup:
Marianna Bowes, Head of Investor Relations
Stuart Butchers, Head of Corporate Communications
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7725 3354

Contacts at Brunswick PR:
Andrew Porter / Simone Selzer
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Contacts at Liberum Capital Limited:
Nicholas How / John Fishley / William Hall
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Contacts at RBC Europe Limited:
James Agnew / Jonathan Hardy / Jack Wood
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7653 4000

Forward-looking statements
Certain statements included or incorporated by reference within this announcement may constitute 'forward-looking statements' with respect to the business, strategy and plans of the Group and our current goals, assumptions and expectations relating to our future financial condition, performance and results. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, assumptions, uncertainties and other factors that cause actual results, performance or achievements of the Group to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. No statement in this announcement should be construed as a profit forecast for any period. Shareholders are cautioned not to place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements. Except as required by the UK Listing Rules and applicable law, the Group does not undertake any obligation to update or change any forward-looking statements to reflect events occurring after the date of this announcement.

Legal Entity Identifier (LEI): 549300DEJZCPWA4HKM93. Classification as per DTR 6 Annex 1R: 3.1

FirstGroup plc (LSE: FGP.L) is a leading private sector provider of public transport services. With £4.6 billion in revenue and more than 30,000 employees, our UK divisions transported nearly 1.5m passengers a day in the last financial year. First Bus is the second largest regional bus operator in the UK, serving two-thirds of the UK’s 15 largest conurbations with a fleet of c.4,900 buses. First Rail is the UK’s largest rail operator, with many years of experience running long-distance, commuter, regional and sleeper rail services. We operate a fleet of c.3,800 rail vehicles through four management fee-based train operating companies (Avanti West Coast, GWR, SWR, TPE) and two open access routes (Hull Trains and Lumo). We create solutions that reduce complexity, making travel smoother and life easier. Our businesses are at the heart of our communities and the essential services we provide are critical to delivering wider economic, social and environmental goals. We are formally committed to operating a zero-emission First Bus fleet by 2035 and to not purchase any new diesel buses after 2022; and First Rail will help support the UK Government’s goal to remove all diesel-only trains from service by 2040. In 2022 FirstGroup was named as one of the world's cleanest 200 public companies for the third consecutive year by sustainable business media group Corporate Knights in partnership with US not-for-profit organisation, As You Sow. Visit our website at and follow us @firstgroupplc on Twitter.