Half Year results for the six months ended 30 June 2022

28 July 2022 7:00 AM

Evolve strategy delivering strong growth; momentum building across portfolio

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 HY 2022

HY 2021


Group Revenue








Group Underlying1 Operating Profit




Group Underlying1 Profit Before Tax




Underlying basic1 EPS






Group Operating Profit/(Loss)




Group Profit/(Loss) Before Tax




Group Profit/(Loss) After Tax




Basic EPS





Free cash flow2




Covenant Net Debt









Strong revenue growth across the business
  • Revenue increased by 34% to £1.3 billion, the highest in over a decade
  • Momentum building across the business, with Q2 2022 stronger than Q1 2022


Well positioned for further growth
  • Growing pipeline, with £2.1 billion of bidding and inorganic growth opportunities
  • 16 new contracts won in the period, predominantly in North American Shuttle, Transit and ALSA totalling over £150 million in revenue over the lives of the contracts
  • Entered Portugal with the successful mobilisation of Lisbon urban bus contract; Porto to mobilise in H1 2023


Profit and cash flow benefitting from operational leverage
  • Underlying Operating Profit up nearly four-fold to £90.5 million; Group Underlying Operating Margin up to 7%
  • Statutory Profit Before Tax up £70.7 million to £20.5 million
  • Continued tight management of the cost base; fuel 100% hedged for 2022 and 75% for 2023; wage rises manageable across the Group
  • 60% of Group revenue is contracted and subject to annual cost indexation; around half of this fully inflation-protected
  • Pricing ahead of cost inflation on contract renewals in North American School Bus where wage inflation most acute; some margin pressure until all contracts renewed and driver vacancies filled
  • Active revenue management in our coach businesses in UK and Spain; occupancy and yields rising and ahead of 2019 levels
  • Delivered free cash flow of £63.8 million during the period; cash conversion of 70%


Driving decarbonisation at pace
  • Fleet decarbonisation accelerating with plans approved for 1,500 ZEVs across the Group by 2024
  • UK Bus on track to 50% ZEV by 2025 and 100% by 2030


Confident in prospects for full year
  • Strong first half performance, recent contract wins and growing pipeline provides confidence in our full year guidance and beyond, although challenges from driver shortages in North America School Bus remain
  • UK Coach recovery expected to build in second half; UK Division expected to return to full year profit
  • Continue to anticipate reinstating a full year dividend in respect of FY 2022


Ignacio Garat, National Express Group Chief Executive said:

“I am pleased to see momentum building across the Group, with strong growth in revenue, profit and cash in the first half. Our Evolve strategy is delivering results and we are increasingly demonstrating our ability to rapidly mobilise safe, high quality operations on which our customers can rely. We won 16 new contracts in the half, which will contribute over £150 million over their lives, and there is more to come. Our pipeline of growth opportunities now stands at more than £2 billion in annualised revenue.

The path ahead will not be without challenges. We believe, however, that we are well positioned in an inflationary environment; resilient to slowing economic growth; and are taking all the steps we can to mitigate the industry-wide shortage of School Bus drivers in the US. Whilst mindful of these challenges we maintain our full year guidance and continue to anticipate reinstating a full year dividend in respect of FY 2022.

What we do is ever more critical for today’s world, providing part of the solution to both the climate crisis and cost of living crisis, enabling people to swap their private car journeys for public transport. I am confident that we have the team, the strategy and customer relationships to succeed, and I remain very excited about our future”



National Express Group PLC

Chris Davies, Group Chief Financial Officer

 0121 460 8655

Alison Cole, Group Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director

07552 267295

Louise Richardson, Head of Investor Relations

 07827 807766


Henry Wallers

07876 562436

Matt Denham

07551 825496



The full release and supplementary data will be available on our website from 7:00am (London time) on 28 July 2022. The web address is www.nationalexpressgroup.com/investors/results

There will be a webcast presentation for investors and analysts at 9.00am on 28 July 2022. Details are available from Headland: nationalexpress@headlandconsultancy.com.  The link to the webcast is shown below:




  1. To supplement IFRS reporting, we also present our results (including EBITDA) on an underlying basis to show the performance of the business before separately disclosed items. These are detailed on page 15 and principally comprise intangible amortisation for acquired businesses, certain costs arising as a direct consequence of the pandemic and onerous contract charges in respect of driver shortages in North America. In addition to performance measures directly observable in the Group financial statements (IFRS measures), alternative financial measures are presented that are used internally by management as key measures to assess performance. Further explanation in relation to these measures can be found on pages 19-20.
  1. 2021 free cash flow has been restated for the reclassification of £4.5m from payables to borrowings in respect of amounts under advance factoring arrangements as explained in our 2021 annual report.



Legal Entity Identifier: 213800A8IQEMY8PA5X34

Classification: 1.2 (with reference to DTR6 Annex 1R)


Forward looking statements and other important information

This document contains forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results and business of National Express Group PLC. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty and there may be subsequent variations to estimates. National Express Group PLC's actual future results may differ materially from the results expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements.  Unless otherwise required by applicable law, regulation or accounting standard, National Express does not undertake to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. Forward-looking statements can be made in writing but also may be made verbally by members of the management of the Group (including without limitation, during management presentations to financial analysts) in connection with this document.

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