NatEx revenue is 83% of pre-pandemic figure

National Express revenue reached 83% of the same period’s in 2019 on a constant-currency basis, according to its trading update for the period 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021. In the second quarter of this year, its revenue was 76% of the equivalent figure in 2019.

On the coach side, National Express is operating 56% of services (up from 37% at the end of June), with passengers now up to 52% of pre-Covid levels (from 33% in June). During the period, its National Express Transport Solutions (NETS) business has secured additional contract wins for corporate shuttle business.

The operator has agreed 2% increases to driver wages, both in 2021 and 2022.

It reports the recent fuel shortages have had no impact on its businesses; it has had continuity of supply throughout. Its fuel is fully hedged through 2022 and into 2023.

Patronage on National Express’ bus services is now at 76% of pre-Covid levels. This side of the company’s business is supported by the Government’s Bus Recovery Grant, which runs through to 5 April 2022.

It was during this quarter the Group announced the potential all-share combination with Stagecoach, which the Board believes could deliver significant growth and cost synergies, as well as strong value creation for both sets of shareholders. National Express states discussions for this are still ongoing and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made.

“I am particularly grateful for the efforts of our colleagues in mitigating the industry-wide challenges of driver availability” – Ignacio Garat, Group Chief Executive

Ignacio Garat, Group Chief Executive, said: “Due to the tremendous efforts of our colleagues across the Group coupled with the support and cooperation of our customers across all of our markets, the trend of improving performance has continued through the third quarter. I am particularly grateful for the efforts of our colleagues in mitigating the industry-wide challenges of driver availability.

“We continue to focus on profitable growth with a strong pipeline of opportunities across the Group and recent contract wins in Spain and the UK. We have completed our business review and I look forward to communicating the exciting path ahead for the Group at our forthcoming Capital Markets Day.”

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