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Improved performance at National Express and Alsa

Posted in Industry news

Based on the information given on the National Express Group website, British National Express and Spanish Alsa have improved their performance.

Pre-tax profits at National Express for the first half of 2011 were up 26 per cent on the same period last year, from £75.7million to £95.5million, supporting the company’s claims that its recovery plans have been a success. Revenue rose by 6 per cent from £1,059.6million to £1,189.9million.

Both revenue and operating profit were up at NX’s UK bus business. Revenue rose from £127.1million in the first six months of 2010, to £131.6million in the same period this year. Operating profit went up from £10.9million to £15.2million, improving the division’s operating margin from 8.6 to 11.6 per cent.

There were less dramatic improvements in the UK coach business, where revenue was £122.3million (2010: £118.2million) and operating profit was £11.7million (2010: £10.3million). Operating margin improved from 8.7 to 9.6 per cent.

The most profitable part of the group’s business is its ALSA division in Spain, with an operating margin of 14.4 per cent. The biggest division, by revenue, is UK rail with a figure of £335.1million, which produced a half-year operating profit of £27.1million.

The company notes that while it cannot say that modal shift is occurring sustainably, there is evidence that the UK recession is encouraging passengers to seek more cost-effective modes of transport.

NX group chief executive Dean Finch says:

We have had a strong first half, and driven margin enhancement and organic growth across our businesses. We continue to invest in growth and are well placed to deliver further operational improvements. As we complete our margin recovery programme, we are focused on organic growth, new contract wins, and carefully targeted opportunities in attractive markets.

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