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National Express (NEX)

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Thursday 18 December, 2003

National Express

Trading Statement

National Express Group PLC
18 December 2003

For immediate announcement on 18 December 2003

                           National Express Group PLC
                           Pre-close trading update

National Express Group ('the Group') today reports on trading for the twelve
months to 31 December 2003, prior to entering its close period.  The Group
confirms that trading remains in line with market expectations.

We are pleased to report our UK trains division has continued to trade well with
average patronage growth of 5% across our portfolio. We are currently discussing
two-year franchise extensions for our Great Northern, Silverlink and Wessex
franchises with the Strategic Rail Authority and anticipate the Great Northern
and Wessex renegotiations will be completed within the next two months.  We
await the outcome of the Greater Anglia and ScotRail franchise bids.

We are pleased with trading in our West Midlands bus operations. In Coventry we
are the first public transport operator to sign a public transport Concordat
which sets out a partnership agreement between the City Council, Centro and
ourselves to provide greater integration of services and a broader range of
benefits for passengers.

Our coach division experienced a particularly strong second half despite the
challenges that the tourist travel market has faced during the year.  Best value
fares and the introduction of the concessionary fare scheme have helped boost
patronage on our key routes.

In North America, despite the weakening US dollar, we are pleased with our
performance.  We are pursuing a number of growth opportunities within our North
American student bus division.   Stock, in particular, continues to trade well.

Discussions are continuing to finalise the terms of our exit from our investment
in Eurostar.

The Group will announce its preliminary results on 26 February 2004.

                                   - E ND S -

For further information, please contact:

Adam Walker, Finance Director
Nicola Marsden, Group Communications Director
National Express Group PLC                           Tel:         020 7529 2000

Steve Jacobs/Ben Foster
Financial Dynamics                                   Tel:        020 7831 3113






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