National Express today said it was “resolutely optimistic” about its long-term outlook after reporting better-than-expected trading in recent weeks.
The coach operator said it was performing “slightly better” than its previously announced base case, which assumed revenue to be 50 per cent lower until the end of August.
The company said it had tight cost controls in place, which had helped to maintain positive earnings and cash flow.
Shares were up almost five per cent in early trading this morning.
National Express reported strong passenger growth in the UK, with services in the West Midlands and Dundee operating at roughly last year’s level.
However, occupation levels are lower as the company enforces social distancing measures.
The group reported strong trading in its Spanish division ASLA, with revenue returning to 66 per cent of last year.
ASLA has also been granted a seven-year urban bus contract in Lisbon worth €185m.
In the US the company said it was operating a 65 per cent service on its school bus routes and had an agreement in place to secure 70 per cent of revenue.
National Express also won a five-year paratransit contract in Fresno, California worth $40m.
“We remain resolutely optimistic about the longer term opportunities for the group,” said interim chief executive Chris Davies.
“The enduring strength of our customer and stakeholder relationships during the pandemic demonstrate that our reputation for safe and excellent service has provided a crucial resilience as we navigate this uncertain period.”