British transport group Go-Ahead annual profit rises 19 pct

LONDON, Sept 4 Thu Sep 4, 2014 2:26am EDT

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LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - British transport group Go-Ahead posted a 19 percent jump in annual profits as it carried more passengers on buses and trains and said it would raise its dividend amid confidence that it would meet its financial targets.

Go-Ahead on Thursday reported operating profit of 103.2 million pounds ($170 million) for the twelve months to the end of June, compared with the 86.7 million pounds it made in the year-earlier period.

It said it was making progress towards its target of generating 100 million pounds of operating profit from its bus business alone by its 2015/16 financial year and raised its full-year dividend by 4.3 percent to 84.5 pence a share.

Earlier this year, Go-Ahead secured a contract to run an expanded Thameslink rail network in London, the largest rail franchise in Britain. The company's shares have risen 30 percent since the beginning of 2014.

(1 US dollar = 0.6079 British pound) (Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Mark Potter)

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