National Express Reports Stability in Trade

23 December 2009 (Last Updated December 23rd, 2009 18:30)

UK transport operator National Express Group has announced its business stabilised in the fourth quarter and its full year profit is expected to be consistent with previous guidance. In a pre-close trading update ahead of the end of 2009, the group said the reduced demand in East Anglia

UK transport operator National Express Group has announced its business stabilised in the fourth quarter and its full year profit is expected to be consistent with previous guidance.

In a pre-close trading update ahead of the end of 2009, the group said the reduced demand in East Anglia continues to be offset through revenue support and its British and Spanish trade continue to deliver a strong operating performance.

National Express has resolved outstanding rail issues by finishing the exit from the loss-making East Coast franchise in November 2009 and with the UK Government indicating that the group will continue to operate its remaining two rail franchises to their normal termination dates in 2011, according to the statement.

The group also said the results come as it secured annualised cost savings of £50m in 2009 and strong organic cash generation reducing underlying debt.

The group's executive chairman John Devaney said the year has been challenging for the group, but as it draws to a close, it has tackled and resolved significant issues.

"We have eliminated the loss-making elements of our rail business and restored our balance sheet through a well-supported rights issue. National Express will enter 2010 on a sound basis," Devaney said.