The new boss of transport group National Express has reported an
encouraging start to the year with cost saving programmes and stronger
operational focus driving improved margins.
The Birmingham-based group endured a torrid 2009, as huge debts and problems with the East Coast Main Line hit income.
new chief executive Dean Finch said, in a statement to the London Stock
Exchange, the group is on track to meet expectations for margin and
profit in the full year and continues to build its financial strength.
company said that despite conditions remaining relatively difficult,
the first quarter saw a stabilising in revenue trends and operating
margins have improved across the business.
UK performance improved in the first quarter, benefitting from a return
to profitability in rail and delivery of actions to increase margin.
Finch said: “We have made an encouraging start to 2010 as we roll out
our plans for operational improvement. We are already seeing signs of
progress in North America, have clear plans for our UK Bus business and
continue to build on our strengths in Spain and UK Coach.
“Whilst we have much to do, National Express has a strong portfolio of first class transport businesses and the ability to deliver to its full potential over the longer term.”
Finch joined the group as chief executive on February 15. He has
completed a review of the business, which has highlighted the
“underperforming” UK bus division as an issue, and revealed a
transformation programme of its US business was not working.