National Express grows revenue and profit driven mainly by overseas success

Caitlin Morrison
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The bus and coach company said its overseas business had boosted revenue and profit (Source: Getty)

Coach and rail company National Express has reported growth in revenue and profit during the three months to 30 September, which it attributed to particularly strong performances in its overseas businesses.

The figures

Group revenue was up 17 per cent, supported by total passenger growth of six per cent, thr company said.

Pre-tax profit rose nine per cent on a constant currency basis, with revenue in North America up 16 per cent in the year to date, which National Express said was due to "a successful bid season".

The firm said its UK bus and coach businesses were "are proving relatively resilient against a backdrop of subdued demand for travel in the UK". Commercial revenue in UK bus was up two per cent, while the UK coach division saw core revenue rise by 1.7 per cent in the year to date.

This follows a pattern outlined in the group's results for the first half of 2016, which showed that overseas business was helping to offset a subdued UK market.

Shares in the group rose by 3.26 per cent in early trading.

What National Express said

"With two thirds of our earnings generated outside of the UK this geographic diversity, combined with a focus on operational excellence and the deployment of technology, continues to deliver good growth, a strong cash flow and opens new market opportunities," said chief executive Dean Finch.

"We will stick to our fundamental principles of safe and punctual operations at affordable prices with particular emphasis on controlling costs to generate cash and keep fares low.

"The combination of our relatively resilient UK performance together with the strong growth we are seeing from our international operations enables us to selectively invest in growth opportunities subject to our strict financial criteria and continue to deliver attractive and sustainable returns to shareholders."

In short

National Express will be thankful that it's got such a lot of overseas business to bolster up a fairly lacklustre UK performance.

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