Revenue at travel operator National Express forged ahead by five per cent in the third quarter of the year and three per cent year-on-year, according an interim statement.
The UK firm, based in Birmingham, reported growing passenger numbers in its bus and coach operations and remains on target to deliver its expectations for the year, the statement added.
In the West Midlands, National Express posted a three per cent increase in commercial revenue during the third quarter of this year with passenger numbers also rising by two per cent.
It added: “We continue to drive patronage through our investment in fleet, technology, over 40,000 users have downloaded our West Midlands Bus mobile app since its launch in July, and through our partnership with the regional passenger transport authority, Centro.
“This industry-leading joint initiative to promote bus travel was signed in the second quarter of 2013, with a third of initiatives now underway. Bus travel is being supported by highway priority measures and we have launched commercial smartcards in Coventry. In October we have taken delivery of the first new tram, part of a £140 million publicly funded upgrade to the existing metro network.”
The firm reported a nine per cent rise in use of its UK coach network following record passenger numbers during the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Overseas operations were also encouraging.
Dean Finch, group chief executive, commented: “We continue to perform well, driving passenger growth, increasing revenue and focusing our investment where it makes the biggest difference to our customers. With our strong cash generation and our developing pipeline of capital light opportunities, we are well positioned to generate significant further value.”
The company stated that it remains on track to deliver the board’s profit, cash and new business expectations for 2013. The firm noted that it remains on course to generate £150 million of free cash flow during the year. Group net debt at the end of September 2013 was over £40 million lower than the prior year comparative.