National Express sees profits driven down

TRANSPORT group National Express has reported a 43 per cent fall in full-year pre-tax profit and warned 2010 would be another challenging year.

The company, which in December completed a £360m rights issue in order to cut debt, said adjusted pre-tax profit from continuing operations fell to £116.2m compared with £202.4m the year before.

National Express, which saw new chief executive Dean Finch join the group earlier this month, said it was focussed on delivering margin improvement in 2010 through reducing costs.

The company was hit last year after it lost its franchise on the East Coast main line.

In December the company completed a £360m rights issue to cut its debt.

Chairman John Devaney said: “With significant scope to improve our business, especially in UK Bus and North America, while building on our successes in Spain and UK Coach, we will drive forward our performance and deliver value for shareholders.”