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July 8, 2020, 2:51 a.m. EDT

FirstGroup losses widen, offers no 2021 guidance

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By Anthony O. Goriainoff

FirstGroup PLC said Wednesday that pretax loss for fiscal 2020 widened due to the coronavirus pandemic, and that it couldn't provide guidance for fiscal 2021.

The U.K. train-and-bus operator said that guidance to limit travel and socially distance will affect its service capacity and financial performance as long as it remains in place, and that the virus has had a significant effect on all its markets.

The company also said that the board remained committed to the divestment of the North American business, and that it wasn't proposing a dividend for fiscal 2020.

For the year ended March 31, pretax loss was 229.6 million pounds ($288 million) compared with a pretax loss of GBP97.9 million for fiscal 2019, it said.

Adjusted pretax profit--one of the company's preferred metrics which strips out exceptional and other one-off items--was GBP109.9 million compared with GBP208.2 million in the year-prior.

Revenue was GBP7.75 billion compared with GBP7.13 billion a year earlier.

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