February 21, 2018 / 7:31 AM / in a year

FirstGroup sees earnings "slightly" lower hit by weather, competition

LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) - British transport company FirstGroup downgraded its forecast for annual core earnings after its U.S. coach and bus services were affected by severe snowstorms in January and increased competition.

The company, which operates trains in the UK and yellow school buses in the U.S., guided that adjusted earnings per share (EPS) would be “slightly reduced” but said that there was no change to management’s forecast for “substantial cash generation” for the year.

Reuters data showed analysts had expected FirstGroup to post EPS of 12.7 pence for the twelve months ended March 31 2018 before the announcement on Wednesday.

Snowstorms in January plus driver shortages affected the performance of its school bus unit in the U.S., while competition from airlines dragged on its Greyhound bus services, the company said. (Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by James Davey)

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