Record annual profits for National Express
The National Express public transport group achieved record profits last year helped by increased numbers of bus passengers in the West Midlands.
The group, which runs bus services in the region, saw pre-tax profits grow by 5.2 per cent to £187 million. Revenue was ahead by 12 per dent to £2.74 billion with £599.7m coming from the UK.
It is adding new routes and growing its accessible transport business in the region which has the fastest growing bus usage of any region in the country.
Nearly a million extra passengers were added in the West Midlands last year.
Chief executive Dean Finch said: "National Express has again delivered a record set of results. Revenue and profit are up strongly and free cash performance has beaten our expectations.
"All businesses have delivered organic growth. I am particularly pleased with North America achieving a 10 per cent margin and significantly increasing the number of customers rating their services five-star. The group is also carrying significantly more passengers."
National Express, which has its head office in Birmingham, also runs coach services in the UK and carried a record number of passengers in 2019
It has pledged that it will not buy another diesel bus in the UK and lead the transition to zero emission coaches.
Its ambition is for its UK bus business to become zero emission by 2030 with UK coach by 2035.
"We believe these commitments are not only the right thing to do, but will also help strengthen the position of quality public transport in the communities we serve," said Mr Finch.
Group passenger numbers were up 5.1 per cent year-on-year.
Mr Finch said that National Express had transformed itself in the last 10 years, turning around a business in deep crisis to one that was consistently delivering record-breaking results and strong returns.
"Building on these firm foundations, the next decade presents a different set of challenges and I firmly believe, opportunities," he added.
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