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FIRSTGROUP PLC (FGP)

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Thursday 30 September, 2021

FIRSTGROUP PLC

US CERTS funding awarded to Greyhound

FIRSTGROUP PLC
US CERTS FUNDING AWARDED TO GREYHOUND

FirstGroup plc announces that its Greyhound subsidiary has been awarded an initial funding grant of $84.6m from the first tranche of the US Department of the Treasury’s Coronavirus Economic Relief for Transportation Services (‘CERTS’) scheme, which is part of the US Government’s recent legislative activities. The Treasury has also advised that Greyhound will be eligible for a further award under the second tranche of CERTS funding, which is expected to be approximately a fifth of the size of the first.

The CERTS scheme is intended to support a range of transportation service providers affected by the coronavirus pandemic and is likely to result in an increase to service provision across the motor coach industry in the US.

Greyhound is the largest operator of scheduled intercity coaches in the US and has continued to provide these important services throughout the pandemic, maintaining the integrity of its network. In line with the terms of the CERTS scheme, these funds must be used in the next twelve months. The funds may only be utilised in the Greyhound business in the US, with 60% of the grant required to be spent on ongoing qualifying payroll costs. The balance may also be used for operating, maintenance and other costs.

In addition to the second tranche of CERTS funding which the Treasury expects to allocate shortly, Greyhound also remains eligible to receive further funding from other US federal schemes such as the CARES Act (which makes funds available to state agencies to maintain operation of intercity rural bus services during the pandemic), and the American Rescue Plan (which serves to mitigate losses arising from the beginning of the pandemic until the award of CERTS funding).

As previously stated, Greyhound remains non-core to the Group and the Board continues to pursue all exit options for the business with sale discussions ongoing.

Contacts at FirstGroup:
Faisal Tabbah, Head of Investor Relations
Stuart Butchers, Group Head of Communications
[email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7725 3354
Contacts at Brunswick PR:
Andrew Porter / Simone Selzer
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7404 5959

Notes

Legal Entity Identifier (LEI): 549300DEJZCPWA4HKM93. Classification as per DTR 6 Annex 1R: 2.2. This announcement contains inside information. The person responsible for arranging the release of this announcement on behalf of FirstGroup is David Isenegger, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary.

FirstGroup plc (LSE: FGP.L) is a leading private sector provider of public transport services. With £4.3 billion in revenue and around 30,000 employees, our UK divisions transported nearly 700,000 passengers a day in the 52 weeks to 27 March 2021. 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.5,000 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.3,750 rail vehicles on four contracted operations (Avanti, GWR, SWR, TPE) and two open access routes (Hull Trains and Lumo, our new East Coast service launching later in 2021). We also operate Greyhound, the only national operator of scheduled intercity coaches in the US, with a unique network of 2,300 destinations and an iconic brand. 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 cease purchasing further 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. Visit our website at www.firstgroupplc.com and follow us @firstgroupplc on Twitter.


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