National Express revenues jump 30% thanks to pent-up travel demand


National Express revenues jump 30% thanks to pent-up travel demand and puts it back in line with pre-pandemic levels

  • The Birmingham-based company operates in eight countries 
  • Its March revenue was higher compared with the same month in 2019
  • Future plans include the possibility of an urban bus project in Dubai 

National Express says revenues have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels thanks to pent-up travel demand in the UK and Spain.

In a trading update, the Birmingham-based transport firm – which operates in eight countries across Europe and North America – said revenue jumped 30 per cent in the last quarter. 

Off the back of the results, the group says it’s confident in its short-and long-term outlook, ‘including 2022 revenue in line with 2019 levels, and delivering at least £1.25billion of free cash flow between 2022 and 2027 inclusive’.

British transport firm National Express has revealed that its revenues have bounced back to pre-Covid levels thanks to pent-up travel demand in the UK and Spain

The group noted that its March revenue was higher compared with the same month in 2019.

It highlighted a strong recovery in its airport routes in the UK and Germany, with passenger demand up 40 per cent monthly in March.

The company says it continues to see ‘good growth opportunities’, with ‘a number of bids in North American Transit and Shuttle’, a new contract in Portugal to commence operations in June and a contract for an urban bus project in Dubai on the cards. 

Ignacio Garat, chief executive, said: ‘The cost of living crisis is starting to bite for many people, and our bus services offer an attractive low cost alternative form of travel.’

Garat also highlighted the company’s commitment to green travel and the company has secured secured funding for 124 hydrogen buses. 

Last month, shareholder spirits were dampened following its failed attempt to buy Stagecoach, Britain’s biggest bus and coach operator.

Stagecoach had agreed to the National Express all-share offer in December, but made a U-turn and instead backed a 105p a share bid from German investment fund DWS. 

Garat said on Tuesday of the matter: ‘We continue to believe that our proposed combination with Stagecoach, with at least £45million of run-rate synergies, represents a superior value creation opportunity to the DWS offer. 

‘However, we will remain disciplined in the assessment of our options going forward.’

He concluded: ‘Looking ahead, having made an encouraging start to 2022, we anticipate further strong recovery in demand over the balance of the year, and are confident of delivering further improvements in performance during the year.’

National Express shares rose 9.51 per cent to 246.4p in morning trading.

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