StockMarketWire.com - Bus and rail company FirstGroup said it expected to deliver a small first-half adjusted operating profit after reporting stronger-than-expected performance in the four months through August.

'The group is now expecting to deliver a small adjusted operating profit for the seasonally weaker first half of the financial year, ahead of our expectations earlier this summer,' the company said.

Stronger profit and cash generation was driven by better revenue recovery and strong cost control.

FirstGroup said it remained focused on the sale its North American businesses and was 'encouraged by significant interest from potential buyers.'

'As we head into the autumn, our priorities are to continue delivering safe, reliable transport services that meet the changing needs of our customers and communities, and to execute the sale of the North American businesses as expediently as possible and in the best interests of all shareholders,' it added.

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