Financial Express (Holdings) Limited (“we”, “our”, “us” and derivatives) are committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. This Privacy Policy, together with our Terms of Use, sets out the basis on which any personal data that we collect from you, or that you provide to us, will be processed by us relating to your use of any of the below websites (“sites”).

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For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, the data controller is Trustnet Limited of 2nd Floor, Golden House, 30 Great Pulteney Street, London, W1F 9NN. Our nominated representative for the purpose of this Act is Kirsty Witter.

WHAT INFORMATION DO WE COLLECT ABOUT YOU?

We collect information about you when you register with us or use any of our websites / services. Part of the registration process may include entering personal details & details of your investments.

We may collect information about your computer, including where available your operating system, browser version, domain name and IP address and details of the website that you came from, in order to improve this site.

You confirm that all information you supply is accurate.

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In order to provide personalised services to and analyse site traffic, we may use a cookie file which is stored on your browser or the hard drive of your computer. Some of the cookies we use are essential for the sites to operate and may be used to deliver you different content, depending on the type of investor you are.

You can block cookies by activating the setting on your browser which allows you to refuse the setting of all or some cookies. However, if you use your browser settings to block all cookies (including essential cookies) you may not be able to access all or part of our sites. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies as soon as you visit our sites.

HOW WE USE INFORMATION

We store and use information you provide as follows:

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We may also send you emails to provide information and keep you up to date with developments on our sites. It is our policy to have instructions on how to unsubscribe so that you will not receive any future e-mails. You can change your e-mail address at any time.

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However, you agree that we may disclose to any regulatory authority to which we are subject and to any investment exchange on which we may deal or to its related clearing house (or to investigators, inspectors or agents appointed by them), or to any person empowered to require such information by or under any legal enactment, any information they may request or require relating to you, or if relevant, any of your clients.

You agree that we may pass on information obtained under Money Laundering legislation as we consider necessary to comply with reporting requirements under such legislation.

ACCESS TO YOUR INFORMATION AND CORRECTION

We want to ensure that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and up to date. You may ask us to correct or remove information that is inaccurate.

You have the right under data protection legislation to access information held about you. If you wish to receive a copy of any personal information we hold, please write to us at 3rd Floor, Hollywood House, Church Street East, Woking, GU21 6HJ. Any access request may be subject to a fee of £10 to meet our costs in providing you with details of the information we hold about you.

WHERE WE STORE YOUR PERSONAL DATA

The data that we collect from you may be transferred to, and stored at, a destination outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”). It may be processed by staff operating outside the EEA who work for us or for one of our suppliers. Such staff may be engaged in, amongst other things, the provision of support services. By submitting your personal data, you agree to this transfer, storing and processing. We will take all steps reasonably necessary, including the use of encryption, to ensure that your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our sites; any transmission is at your own risk. You will not hold us responsible for any breach of security unless we have been negligent or in wilful default.

CHANGES TO OUR PRIVACY POLICY

Any changes we make to our privacy policy in the future will be posted on this page and, where appropriate, notified to you by e-mail.

OTHER WEBSITES

Our sites contain links to other websites. If you follow a link to any of these websites, please note that these websites have their own privacy policies and that we do not accept any responsibility or liability for these policies. Please check these policies before you submit any personal data to these websites.

CONTACT

If you want more information or have any questions or comments relating to our privacy policy please email publishing@financialexpress.net in the first instance.

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National Express (NEX)

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Tuesday 01 May, 2012

National Express

Interim Management Statement

RNS Number : 4202C
National Express Group PLC
01 May 2012
 



 

 



Press release

 

1 May 2012

 

National Express Group PLC

First Quarter 2012 Interim Management Statement

 

National Express Group PLC ("National Express" or the "Group"), a leading international public transport group, operates bus and coach services in the UK, Continental Europe, North Africa and North America, together with rail services in the UK

 

National Express reports its Interim Management Statement for the three months ended 31 March 2012 ("the quarter" or "the period").

 

Highlights

 

· Good revenue growth, including Spain, North America school bus, UK Bus and UK Rail

· New contract wins in Spain and North America school bus

· Added growth through small bolt-on acquisitions in Spain and in North America school bus and para-transit

· Successful pre-qualification for two UK rail franchise tenders

· As expected, UK Coach profit reduced by subsidy removal but core network continues to grow

· Group trading in line with the Board's expectations

 

Dean Finch, Group Chief Executive, commented:

 

"We aim to offer customers reliable, well run services at exceptional value prices. This strategy, supported by fleet investment, strong cost control and continuously improving our network of services, is enabling us to deliver good revenue growth across the business, win additional contracts and expand into new markets."

 

Spain

Alsa has continued to achieve good revenue growth. In local currency, regular intercity coach revenue grew by 5% year-on-year. This was driven in particular by passenger volume growth on Madrid radial routes and in Northern Spain, reflecting competitive fares, particularly against rail, benefitting our customers during continued austerity. Revenue in the urban bus operation in Spain grew 4% whilst Morocco grew 9%, reflecting the start-up of an additional contract in Agadir. Total divisional revenue was 1% higher, with continuing weak non-transport revenues.

 

In addition to the new Moroccan contract, Alsa successfully renewed its concession to operate the Granada bus station. At the end of March, Alsa acquired an additional urban bus concession in Bilbao; adding 150 vehicles to an existing local operation, we are targeting for this to be profitable in its second year.


North America

School bus revenue grew by 6% year-on-year in local currency, reflecting last year's new contracts and further charter growth. The 2012/13 bid season has started successfully, with ten new contracts secured from competitors, offset by five given up. A small acquisition was completed in March adding 300 buses. Conversion activity is progressing, with one new contract already secured. Notably, our service quality and referred experience are proving important in winning bids. In total, we have secured over 400 net new buses for the next school year.

 

We acquired a small para-transit business at the end of the period. With the completion of the Petermann acquisition now imminent, including the divestment of just over 10% of acquired revenue as agreed with regulatory authorities, this provides a good platform for further growth in both the school bus and para-transit markets.

 

UK Bus

Commercial revenue in UK Bus remains strong, growing by 4% year-on-year. Passenger volume was unchanged on a like-for-like basis, while student travel card sales continued to grow strongly. Encouraging passenger growth has particularly been seen on routes benefitting from recent fleet investment; the first half of 2012 will see 160 new buses added to the fleet, with funding for a further 31 hybrid vehicles recently secured from government. In addition, the benefits of a detailed network review, with new routes in Dundee and Coventry, and a significant improvement in punctuality, resulted in an increased operating profit in the quarter, together with overall divisional revenue up 2%. We have also agreed the basis for the concessionary reimbursement scheme for the forthcoming financial year with the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority (WMITA), which will protect future income.

 

UK Coach

Our challenge in 2012 is to begin to mitigate the lower profit caused by the loss of £15 million of annual concession revenue, withdrawn by the Government in November 2011. Initial progress following the launch of the Group's own concession card programme has been slower than expected, with total concessionary revenue down £2.8 million year-on-year, a reduction of 40%. Nevertheless, concessionary card sales are growing, with 100,000 cards now sold, and the scheme has recently been extended to include airport routes, doubling the weekly rate of card sales.

 

On a like-for-like basis, revenue on the core express network grew 5%, including 3% volume growth reflecting increased schedule frequency. We continue to drive efficiency and investment in the customer offering, with the biggest network review in 25 years, four new route start-ups, and the introduction of a new simple pricing regime across key routes, offering very competitive headline on-the-day and 14-day advance fares. This is also being supported by growth outside the express business, most notably in Eurolines.

 

UK Rail

Revenue at c2c grew strongly, increasing by 10% in the quarter. c2c improved its punctuality performance measure further during the period and remains the top performing operator in the country with a 96.8% annual average punctuality.

 

The handover of the East Anglia franchise was successfully completed in February 2012, with franchise revenues of £56 million delivered in the current year. On 29 March 2012, the Department for Transport announced that National Express had qualified to bid for both the Great Western and National Express's existing Essex Thameside (c2c) franchises. Invitations to tender are currently awaited. The Group's bid team is exceptionally well placed to submit high quality and innovative tenders, based on our experience and expertise.



Financial Position

National Express continues to benefit from long-term, stable funding and investment grade credit ratings. The Group is investing in its consistent, stable fleet replacement plan, which preserves a low fleet age and provides flexibility to manage future investment needs, whilst promoting greater passenger travel.

 

Cash outflows in the period included the completed handover of the Group's principal rail franchise, East Anglia, with its commensurate outflow of working capital in the period of approximately £80 million. The Group has also completed all cash payments in respect of its previous ICRRL (Eurostar) and East Coast contracts. In addition, in conjunction with the WMITA, the Group secured an innovative insurance buy-in of pensioner liabilities of the West Midlands Bus pension fund, significantly reducing future expected pension fund volatility and fixing existing cash deficit contributions until 2017.

 

These actions collectively allow the Group to focus on its growth and further margin improvement plans, leading to an expected sustainable growth in profitability from 2013. The Board is committed to maintaining a net debt gearing ratio of 2.0 to 2.5 times EBITDA and a progressive dividend policy supported by non-rail earnings and cash.

 

 

Enquiries

 

National Express Group PLC   



Jez Maiden, Group Finance Director

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0121 460 8657

Stuart Morgan, Head of Investor Relations

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Anthony Vigor, Director of Policy and External Affairs  


07767 425822  




Maitland


020 7379 5151

Neil Bennett   



George Hudson



Rebecca Mitchell



 

There will be a conference call for investors and analysts at 0900 on 1 May 2012. Details are available from Laura Dean at Maitland.

 

Notes

All references to revenue and operating profit are measured on an underlying basis, which compares the current year with the prior year on a consistent basis, after adjusting for the impact of currency, acquisitions, disposals and rail franchises no longer operated.

 

Profits are stated on a normalised basis. Normalised results are the 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.

 

Like-for-like sales in UK Bus measure commercial passenger revenue, net of network mileage changes. In UK Coach, like-for-like sales measure commercial passenger revenue, excluding concessionary passengers and the impact of new routes.

 


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