National Express has made ‘strong progress’ in the first half of the year, with results in line with its expectations. Group revenue amounted to £1.10bn, up from the £0.96bn achieved in the same period last year. Group operating profit rose to £96.2m (H1 2015: £89.6m). Growth in revenue, profit and margins was recorded in both its UK Bus and UK Coach divisions. During the period, the operator completed four acquisitions, three in North America and a small regional bus business in Ibiza.
National Express Group Chief Executive, Dean Finch, said, ‘We have made a good start to 2016 and despite subdued growth in the UK, we remain on track to deliver our expectations for the year. The diversity of our cash generative, international portfolio of businesses where two thirds of our earnings are generated outside of the UK, is a key strength that allows us to grow and to declare a 5% increase in the interim dividend.’
‘Our strong cash generation provides us with options and we will continue to look to deploy capital in those parts of our business where we believe it will generate the best returns for shareholders. We have been particularly pleased with the performance of the North American businesses we acquired last year which are generating strong returns, both in terms of profit and cash, validating our strategic decision to increase our investment in this attractive market.’