National Express reports �83.5m loss

THE parent company of regional train operator National Express East Anglia today reported a loss of �83.5million for last year as it counted the cost of relinquishing its East Coast rail franchise.

THE parent company of regional train operator National Express East Anglia today reported a loss of �83.5million for last year as it counted the cost of relinquishing its East Coast rail franchise.

Bus, coach and train company National Express Group also took hits from restructuring charges and the cost of defending itself against a series of takeover approaches.

But the group, which towards the end of last year successfully raised �375million from shareholders to reduce its �1billion debt pile, said it was now better placed than it was a year ago.

National Express (NX) handed back its loss making East Coast franchise to the Government in November, after overbidding for the contract before the onset of the recession and committing itself to paying premiums which falling revenues could not support.


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The Government threatened to strip NX of its two other franchises, National Express East Anglia and south Essex commuter route c2c, although in the end stopped short of this and settled for curtailing the deals in 2011.

NX said yesterday that charges relating to the termination of the East Coast deal had totalled �64.8m.

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Stripping out this, the other one-off costs relating to restructuring and the takeover defence, and losses at the East Coast operation, NX said group-wide profits would have come in at �142.5m last year, against �172.4m in 2008.

The group added that it now planned to build on the strong performance of its coach operation, which saw profits rise by 27% to �34.3m as it showed resilience in the recession. It would also look to improve trading in its UK bus and North American school transport businesses, it added.

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