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National Express shrugs off US cold spell as passenger numbers climb

'Sophisticated pricing’ in the UK bus and coach businesses helped reverse declines in the first six-month period

National Express bus en route
Higher prices will make up for a dismal winter in US

Bus, coach and rail group National Express Group PLC (LON:NEX) played down the impact of the terrible winter on its US bus operations.

Dean Finch, chief executive, said there had been weather disruption in North America at the start of 2018, but the missed days would be recovered later this year and by above-inflation price increases in school bus contract renewals.

For 2017, National Express reported strong performances in its both international divisions, while ‘sophisticated pricing’ in the UK bus and coach businesses also reversed first-half declines.

Pre-tax profits went up to £156.4mln from £134.8mln in 2016, while revenue increased to £2.32bn from £2.09bn last year.   

READ: National Express on board with new US tax laws

Turnover grew 10% in the North American division, while German Rail saw a 20.4% increase in constant currency revenue.

The final dividend rises 10% to 9.25p per ordinary share, making 13.51p for the year.

Finch added he was very pleased with the company’s performance in 2017: "We carried more passengers than we did last year reflecting the strong focus in all our businesses on good service and value for money.”

In the early morning trading, company’s shares were up 0.4% at 350.6p.

Quick facts: National Express

Price: 243.2 GBX

Market: LSE
Market Cap: £1.49 billion

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