National Express said it was “well-positioned” for the future as the transport titan posted its biggest revenue increase in over a decade.
“We’re well positioned to manage inflationary pressures and the potential impact of an economic downturn,” chief executive Ignacio Garat told analysts this morning.
In the six months ended 30 June, National Express brought in £1.3bn in revenue, a 34 per cent increase on last year and the highest in a decade as it secured 16 new contracts in the period.
“We won 16 new contracts in the half, which will contribute over £150 million over their lives, and there is more to come”, he said, adding that the pipeline of growth opportunities now stands at more than £2bn of annualised revenue.
The group also swung into the black with a £15.8m profit following a difficult first half of 2021, which saw the group post a £24m operation loss after tax.
In the UK, National Express’ revenue grew by 37 per cent to £237m after the coach business saw a rapid rise from April onwards.
The group shrank its underlying operating losses to £12.8m, a 35.7 per cent improvement on last year’s levels.
“Our UK coach business will see further recovery in the second half [of the year] with the UK division expected to return to profit for the full year,” Garat added.
The company said it had a major spike in usage in particular due to the Bank Holiday Jubilee weekend and Glastonbury festival, which took place for the first time since the pandemic, with the firm carrying 50,000 people for Glastonbury alone.
The chief executive added that National Express maintained its previous guidance for an underlying operating margin of around 7 per cent.
The coach and rail company made the headlines earlier this year after its takeover bid for rival Stagecoach was snubbed in favour of a £594.9m cash offer from German asset manager DWS.
National Express said in March its offer would unlock a value of more than £500m, City A.M. reported.