NatEx’s ‘strong performance’ in 2014
National Express Group had a ‘strong performance’ in 2014, according to its full year results for the 12 months ending 31 December 2014. Growth in revenue and passenger numbers was recorded in all its divisions. Group revenue increased 2% to £1.87bn on a constant currency basis; down 1% on a reported basis (2013: £1.89bn). Group normalised profit before tax rose 7% to £145.4m on a constant currency basis; up 1% on a reported basis (2013: £143.7m).
A good performance was reported in National Express’ UK Coach division, with passenger revenue up 4% and an operating margin over 10%. Its UK Bus business achieved a 0.6% increase in commercial passengers and 2.8% increase in revenue. Amongst the new contracts it won in 2014 was a ten year deal to run bus services in Bahrain, its first entry into the growing Middle Eastern market. It has a new business pipeline of opportunities worth over £8bn in annualised revenue.
During 2015, National Express’ management team expects its UK rail, bus and coach businesses to build on their good progress during 2014 and to continue to perform well with strong cash generation. They also expect the Group to continue to successfully exploit a number of important opportunities in the Middle East, North Africa and in Germany.
National Express Group Chief Executive, Dean Finch, said, ‘This strong performance means we are in an excellent position to continue to exploit new opportunities. Our North American business has more than doubled profitability in the last five years and provides us with a strong platform for further growth in the coming years. Coupled with the opportunity for further growth in German Rail and the Middle East, I am optimistic about the future prospects of the business.’