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National Express (NEX)

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Monday 18 December, 2006

National Express

Trading Statement

National Express Group PLC
18 December 2006

18 December 2006



                           National Express Group PLC
                            Pre close trading update


National Express Group ('the Group') reports on trading for the year to 31
December 2006, prior to entering its close period. We are pleased to report that
the Group is trading ahead of our expectations.

Alsa is trading well in its first full year as part of the Group. We have
carried more passengers in our long distance coaching division and have been
encouraged by the first use of promotional fares and the level of sales through
the internet. Our urban division has grown with the regular award of new
business throughout the year. It is clear that many growth opportunities exist
within Alsa's core markets.

Our trains division experienced an improved second half with strong passenger
growth across our portfolio. Our operational performance continues to lead the
industry with Midland Mainline and c2c holding the top positions in their
respective industry league tables. We look forward to submitting our bids for
the East Midlands and New Cross Country franchises in February and March 2007,
respectively.

Our coach division has again performed well. We have continued to invest in our
core scheduled coaching network and in improving our customer facilities. The
introduction of a wide range of yield managed fares has led to passenger growth
of 5.5% in the second half of the year.

In North America our student bus operation continued its progress and start-up
of the new contracts went well. We are optimistic that recent growth rates can
be maintained and anticipate another strong bid season. Over the past two weeks,
we have been impacted by some severe weather across the Mid-West resulting in a
number of days when schools were closed. As announced in September, we are in
discussions relating to the sale of Stewart Airport in New York State. We expect
to conclude these negotiations in the first quarter of next year.

Our UK bus division has delivered in line with our expectations despite
significant increases in fuel costs this year. We continue to work closely with
Centro, Birmingham City Council and the seven district councils in the region to
develop new ways of attracting passengers on to our buses in the West Midlands.
We are pleased with the output from a number of joint initiatives in Coventry
and there has been a welcome return to growth amongst our concessionary
passengers.

The Group is ending 2006 strongly and we are excited by the number of new
opportunities that present themselves next year. Consequently, we remain
confident about the Group's future growth prospects.

The Group's preliminary results for the year ending 31 December 2006 will be
announced on 1 March 2007.

•        There will be an analyst conference call at 0830 hours on Monday 18
December 2006 - further details are available from Katie Millett at Financial
Dynamics on 020 7831 3113.

For further information:

Adam Walker/Nicola Marsden
National Express Group PLC                               020 7529 2000


Andrew Dowler/Ben Foster
Financial Dynamics                                                020 7831 3113



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