Record coach volumes drive National Express revenue growth

National Express has announced it is on course to deliver on revenue expectations for the year, after posting a five per cent revenue increase in the third quarter and a three per cent increase in the year to date. The growth in UK coach services and capital-light business opportunities contributed significantly to the group's growth.

The third quarter of 2013 saw a nine per cent increase in UK coach service revenue. A new transit contract in North America and growing revenue in Spain and Morocco saw the company making progress across the board. Consequently the transport group believes it is on target to deliver £150m of free cash flow by the end of the year.

Commercial revenue for UK bus services increased by three per cent over the period, and passenger numbers increased by two per cent. The group is also optimistic about the implementation of its commercial smartcards which were launched in Coventry.

Dean Finch, group chief executive, commented:

We continue to perform well, driving passenger growth, increasing revenue and focusing our investment where it makes the biggest difference to our customers. With our strong cash generation and our developing pipeline of capital light opportunities, we are well positioned to generate significant further value.

The financial position of the company has also improved, with net debt for the company at the end of September 2013 was £40m lower than the previous year.