National Express on track to hit profit targets

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Coach operator National Express today said it was confident of meeting its full-year profit targets, despite passenger volumes at its UK bus business taking a hit from the poor weather.

Revenues at its North American school bus operations have risen 18 per cent since the start of its new financial year, boosted by the acquisition of rival Petermann last May, although underlying revenues were said to be broadly flat.

In the UK, like-for-like bus revenues gained 3 per cent, while its coach business inched ahead 1 per cent as an increase in passenger numbers was offset by a decline in revenue from government-funded concession schemes.

National Express is planning to invest £100 million in its business over the year, having spent more than £40m on its fleet in the first quarter.

Chief executive Dean Finch said: “Our focus on driving up returns on capital, strong cash generation, organic growth and leveraging our international transport skills to deliver new opportunities is proving to be successful.”