National Express trading positive
In a trading update ahead of its year end results, National Express reported that trading across the Group has remained positive and in line with the trends reported in the third quarter interim management statement on 31 October 2013. Revenue has continued to grow strongly in UK Coach, with steady growth in UK Bus, Rail and North America. The intercity coach revenue trend in Spain continues to show improvement. The company remains on track to deliver the Board’s expectations for this year.
In National Express’s UK Bus business, like-for-like commercial revenue has improved throughout the year and is expected to be 3% higher overall in 2013. It continues to invest in new fleet, improved on-bus quality, technology to enhance operational efficiency, customer mobile information and the progressive roll out of commercial smartcards. Its agreement with Centro in the West Midlands is also driving service and punctuality improvements.
The UK Coach business ‘continues to deliver a strong performance’. Volume is growing by 8%, with greater demand, improved retail distribution and new contracts. Core express coach revenue is expected to increase by 9% in the fourth quarter and 6% in the full year. New Christmas Day services will meet customers’ travel needs while other transport networks are shut down.
Group Chief Executive, Dean Finch, said, ‘Trading continues to be encouraging. UK Coach in particular has seen strong revenue growth, driven by more passengers using our competitively priced services. We are focusing investment in those areas of the Group where it makes the biggest impact to our customers and we are seeing increasing numbers of people choosing to travel with National Express, whether by coach, bus or rail.’