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National Express (NEX)

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Monday 20 December, 2004

National Express

Trading Statement

National Express Group PLC
20 December 2004


For announcement at 0700 hours on 20 December 2004



                           National Express Group PLC
                            Pre-close trading update

National Express Group ('the Group') today reports on trading for the twelve
months to 31 December 2004, prior to entering its close period.

The Group expects to report earnings ahead of expectations on the back of a
strong performance from our trains division and a reduced loss at Eurostar.

Our trains division has continued to experience passenger growth of 5%.
Following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Transport on the rail
industry new franchise map, we have commenced discussions with the Strategic
Rail Authority particularly around the remapping of our Central Trains
franchise. We look forward to taking part in the competitions for both the
Greater Western and GN/Thameslink rail franchises.

Travel West Midlands continues to provide good cash generation and deliver
strong margins. Our London operations are trading ahead of our expectations.

Our coach division has seen sustained growth on the back of further fare
innovations and changes in our service offering. Following a good summer,
trading has remained strong.

In North America we have started the new school year well and look forward to
building on our successful 2004 bid season.  We have improved our margins for
the third year running in public transit. As expected, our reported results will
be affected by the weakening dollar.

At Eurostar, settlement has been reached with Network Rail over the historic
application of performance regimes over the period 2001-2003.  This has resulted
in a one-off credit of £5 million reducing our associate losses this year.

Our year end debt levels are anticipated to be below market expectations
following receipt of the proceeds from our Australian bus disposals and our
continuing ability to generate strong cash flow. In summary the Group enters its
pre-close period with optimism for its full year results and beyond.

Our preliminary results will be announced on 24 February 2005.

                                    - ENDS -

For further information, please contact:

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

Andrew Dowler /Ben Foster
Financial Dynamics                                     Tel:     020 7831 3113


                      This information is provided by RNS
            The company news service from the London Stock Exchange