National Express Group PLC: Full Year Results for the year ended 31 December 2022

02 March 2023 7:00 AM

Sustained revenue momentum and improving profitability

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“Improving operating and financial performance, driven by strong passenger growth and good momentum; progress on gearing, and dividend reinstated.”


 FY 2022

FY 20212

(Constant FX)

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Improving financial and operating performance

  • Revenue up 29% to £2.8bn; underlying operating profit of £197.3m, more than double the prior year
  • Strong cash conversion of 81%, delivering free cash flow of £160.5m; ROCE up 430bps to 7.7%
  • Reinstating full year 2022 dividend at 5.0p per share reflecting confidence in the future
  • Statutory loss before tax of £209.9m driven by £261m non-cash impairment of goodwill in ALSA, arising from a rise in discount rates; underlying trading assumptions unchanged

Strong growth in passenger demand with good momentum

  • 23% increase in passenger journeys across the Group
  • Sustained growth in passenger demand in Spain, Morocco, the UK and Germany; strengthening in the second half of the year

Progress on driver recruitment and route reinstatement in US School Bus

  • 900 net new drivers added in 2022, closing the gap by one third as expected, allowing route reinstatement to commence
  • Average rate increases of just above 10% achieved on the 40% of contracts renewed in the year recovering increased driver costs albeit with a timing lag

Improving covenant gearing

  • Covenant gearing at 2.8 times (December 2021: 3.6 times); expect to be close to target range in the next two years with reducing leverage remaining a key priority

Resilient and agile in the face of industry headwinds

  • Restructured operations in Spain, Morocco, North America and the UK
  • Network relaunch in UK scheduled coach saving 6% in cost per passenger mile
  • Actively managing contracts to recover inflation
  • Fuel cost 100% hedged for 2023 and 56% for 2024

Evolve strategic momentum delivering tangible results; well-positioned to deliver future growth

  • 35 new contracts won, including the RRX Lot1 contract in Germany, worth approximately £150m in annualised revenue demonstrating our ability to convert a strong pipeline of opportunities into tangible growth
  • Commenced service in new key target cities, such as Lisbon and Richmond, Virginia as well as multi-modal hub expansions in Geneva, Madrid and Boston
  • Fleet decarbonisation accelerating with plans approved for 1,500 ZEVs across the Group by 2024

Ignacio Garat, Group Chief Executive of National Express said:

“I am pleased with the significant progress we made in 2022, which saw strong growth in passenger volumes resulting in a 29% increase in Group revenue; the doubling of revenue in our UK coach business and ALSA’s revenue exceeding €1bn for the first time. After a first quarter that was impacted by Omicron, the resilience and agility of our teams amid a uniquely challenging operating environment meant we saw momentum build across our businesses through the year and continue into 2023.

Whilst the operating backdrop remains challenging, with inflationary pressures continuing in key markets, we expect to see that momentum continue, driven by growth in passenger numbers, mobilisation of new contracts, a continuing recovery in US School Bus and the securing of rate increases during 2023 and 2024 allowing us to recover cost increases.

Our expectations for 2023 are unchanged, and we have clear and robust actions in place to mitigate macro-economic headwinds and to reduce costs if necessary. The continued and expanding demand for public transport over the coming years will bring growth opportunities and our Evolve strategy positions us well to capitalise on them.”



National Express Group PLC

James Stamp, Group Chief Financial Officer

07710 056098

Alison Cole, Group Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Director

07552 267295


Matt Denham

07551 825496

Stephen Malthouse

07734 956201

Henry Wallers

07876 562436



The full release and supplementary data will be available on our website from 7:00am (London time) on 2 March 2023. The web address is

There will be a presentation and webcast for investors and analysts at 9.00am on 2 March 2023.

Please use the following link to register and to join the livestream of the presentation:



  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 19 and principally comprise intangible amortisation for acquired businesses, impairment of goodwill, 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 page 19.
  2. 2021 restated in respect of correction to deferred tax assets and liabilities. This has changed 2021 Group Profit After Tax from £(77.9)m to £(77.1)m and 2021 underlying EPS from 0.1p to 0.2p and 2021 statutory EPS from (16.8)p to (16.6)p. Please see note 1 to the Financial Statements.


Legal Entity Identifier: 213800A8IQEMY8PA5X34

Classification: 1.1 (with reference to DTR6 Annex 1R)

Dividend: If approved by shareholders at the AGM on 10 May 2023, the full year 2022 dividend of 5.0p per ordinary share will be paid on 15 May 2023 to those shareholders registered on 14 April 2023.


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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