National Express Group PLC ("National Express" or the "Group"), a leading international public transport group, operates bus and coach services across the UK, continental Europe/North Africa and North America, together with rail services in the UK.
Margin growth across the Group, supported by organic growth in each of the five divisions, new contracts and a bolt-on acquisition, reinstatement of the interim dividend and the appointment of three new Non-Executive Directors to guide the Group through its strategic development.
- Successful strategic delivery:
- Delivering margin improvement across all businesses - Group operating margin increased to 10.5% (2010: 9.0%)
- Achieving organic growth - revenue up 6%
- Securing targeted expansion - nearly £250 million of new contracts won in North America & Spain
- Group operating profit* up 23% to £117.6 million
- Good operating cash generation supporting increased investment
- Statutory profit for the period nearly trebled to £54.7 million
- Interim dividend reinstated at 3 pence per share
|Half year ended 30 June||2011||2010||Change|
|Group operating profit* (£m)||117.6||95.7||+23%|
|Share of results from associates (£m)||0.5||0.3||+67%|
|Net finance costs (£m)||(22.6)||(20.3)||-11%|
|Profit before taxation* (£m)||95.5||75.7||+26%|
|Operating margin*||10.5%||9.0%||+1.5 ppts
|Net debt (£m)||635.3||610.4†||4%|
|Basic earnings per share* (pence)||14.1||11.4||+24%|
|Statutory profit for the period (£m)||54.7||19.4||+182%|
|Interim dividend (pence per share)||3.0||nil||n/a|
|†31 December 2010|
Dean Finch, National Express Group Chief Executive, commented:
"We have had a strong first half, and driven margin enhancement and organic growth across our businesses. Operating profit has grown by 23% and we have reinstated the interim dividend.
"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."
National Express Group PLC
|Jez Maiden, Group Finance Director||0121 460 8657|
|Stuart Morgan, Head of Investor Relations||0121 460 8657|
|Anthony Vigor, Director of Policy and External Affairs||0121 460 8401|
|Neil Bennett / George Hudson||020 7379 5151|
*Normalised result: Statutory result excluding profit or loss on the sale of business, exceptional profit or loss on sale of non-current assets and charges for goodwill impairment, intangible asset amortisation, exceptional items and tax relief thereon, for continuing operations. The Board believes that the normalised result gives a better indication of the underlying performance of the Group.