First Group's share price sank over 20 per cent yesterday after it fell to a £187m half-year loss as transport charges hobbled the firm while doubts weigh over the future of its West Coast Rail franchise. The transport giant fell to a loss before tax of £187.1m in the six months to the end of September, up from a £4.6m loss last year. That came despite a seven per cent annual rise in revenue to £3.5bn. However, net debt doubled to £2.1bn as new accounting standards forced the company to recognise rail rolling stock assets for the first time. First Group profit was hit by a Greyhound impairment charge of £124.4m after record low US immigration numbers hit the coach business in the second quarter.
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