National Express lifts profits hope

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National Express has raised its profit hopes for the year

Transport group National Express has raised its profit hopes for the year after moves to revamp its bus network paid off earlier than expected.

The company, which also operates coach and rail services, said its business recovery plan would return its UK bus service to industry-average profit margins ahead of schedule.

The restructuring involved cutting back on quieter routes while adding to busier runs, and improving revenues by increasing the fare for a multi-trip travelcard while holding the single-journey fare.

National Express added it had seen revenue growth in all its UK divisions, as well as in its Spanish and North American coach businesses.

In a statement ahead of its full year results, the company said: “The board now expects normalised profit before tax for 2010 to be a little above current market expectations and markedly stronger than was expected back in January 2010.”

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