Coach business helps keep National Express on track

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TRANSPORT group National Express said it was on track to meet its full-year expectations after seeing positive fourth quarter trading, with its UK coach business delivering a particularly strong performance.

Analysts from Morgan Stanley said the UK coach business, which operates services throughout Yorkshire, was “again the standout performer”.

Bus, coach and train operator National Express said core UK coach revenue was expected to increase by nine per cent in the fourth quarter and six per cent for the full year, driven by higher passenger volumes.

Tom Stables, managing director of National Express’ UK coach division, said that Yorkshire remains a key area for the business and one which it continues to invest in.

He said: “For example, there are around a million passenger journeys every year at Leeds Coach Station and we have recently introduced new coaches for both the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University.

“We offer services throughout Yorkshire, including those to major UK airports, which offer a lifeline to people throughout the region who use them to connect cost-effectively with Britain and beyond.”

As well as the UK, National Express provides transport services in North America, Spain and Morocco.

Dean Finch, group chief executive, said in yesterday’s update to the stock exchange that trading continues to be encouraging, adding that the UK coach business in particular has seen “strong revenue growth, driven by more passengers using
 our competitively priced services”.

He added: “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.”

National Express, which runs coach services to Leeds Festival, said that it remains the only means of reaching Heathrow airport from Leeds by public transport on Christmas Day. The National Express Group is currently bidding on contracts worth £10bn in revenue, including three rail tenders in the UK,.

Tom Dougherty.

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