National Express sees growth across the board

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National Express has published its full year results for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Group revenue increased by 2.8% on 2014 to £1.92bn, with normalised operating profit increasing by 15.5% to £193.5m. Group normalised profit before tax improved by 25.2%, endng on £150.1m.

The group’s statutory profit before tax saw an 87.1% increase on the previous financial year, jumping from £66.5m to £124.4m, while profit after tax increased from £60.6m to £109.1m.

Normalised earnings per share saw a 23.8% increase to 23.4p, and the group is proposing a 10% increase on its full year proposed dividend, up from 10.3p to 11.33p.

National Express said it had seen an excellent first full year of the new c2c franchise, with record passenger numbers. Its five-year ‘Bus Alliance’ secured with local authorities in the West Midlands, has helped drive 10.3% growth in operating profit in UK Bus, with operating margin growing from 12.1% to 13.1%.

The operator also enjoyed a successful North American school bus bid season, with an average price rise of 2.8% across all contracts, off-setting wage inflation.

In the UK coach business, further development of marketing and revenue management, coupled with new strategic partnerships, saw operating profit increase by 15.4%.

National Express has also had a record year of passenger numbers in ALSA, with the Spanish revenue management system and further significant growth in Morocco both helping operating profit increase by 5.8% on a constant currency basis

Dean Finch, National Express Group Chief Executive, said: “This strong set of results demonstrates that our focus on operational excellence is generating excellent returns for our shareholders and customers.

“With our German rail and Bahrain bus contracts, we have successfully launched services in two new markets during the year. I am pleased that every division has increased revenue, helping to drive overall group profit growth and another strong free cash flow performance.

“Our commitment to our customers and safety has also been recognised in a record year of industry awards.

“With this year’s strong cash performance and our confident outlook, and in-line with our previous commitment to now include rail profits in our dividend policy, we propose to raise the full year dividend by 10%.

“We continue to draw on our international reputation for operational excellence to expand new market opportunities. We have an active pipeline of bids within Europe and the Middle East that will continue to deliver new growth opportunities.”