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National Express release full year results for 2016

01 March 2017/Categories: CILT, Industry News, Bus & Coach, Active Travel & Travel Planning, Rail, Transport Planning


National Express have delivered another strong performance in 2016, with both revenue and profits up on a constant currency and statutory basis, improving returns and strong cash generation, and a growing dividend. 

There was a particularly strong growth in overseas markets both from acquisitions and organically. As National Express enter 2017, they have a number of tailwinds including the benefits from the successful refinancing of their bond, the full year effect of acquisitions and lower fuel costs. The strength of the business, coupled with the removal of c2c franchise commitments, means they are both raising the annual free cash flow guidance to £120 million.

On February 10th they completed the sale of c2c to Trenitalia. The results shown below from continuing operations, exclude the contribution from the UK Rail division in accordance with IFRS.

Financial highlights

FY 2016 FY 2015 Change Change at constant currency
Continuing Operations
Group revenue £2.10bn £1.75bn +20.0% +10.6%
Group normalised operating profit £219.0m £191.8m +14.2% +4.8%
Group statutory operating profit £185.2m £166.1m +11.5%
Group normalised PBT £170.1m £148.4m +14.6%
Group statutory PBT £136.3m £122.7m +11.1%
Total Operations including UK Rail
Group normalised PBT £175.0m £150.1m +16.6%
Statutory profit for the year £120.0m £109.1m +10.0%
Normalised EPS 27.3p 23.4p +16.7%
Group statutory EPS 23.0p 20.9p +10.0%
Free cash flow £138.6m £111.0m £27.6m
Net debt £878.0m £745.5m £132.5m
Full year proposed dividend 12.28p 11.33p +8.4%

Dean Finch, National Express Group Chief Executive said: “We have again delivered a strong set of results from our diversified group of international businesses and remain confident for our future prospects. Our focus on operational excellence is helping drive organic growth across the Group, and this is being complemented by significant returns from our recent acquisitions. We carried a record 921 million passengers in 2016 and will continue to invest in new technology to deliver ever-improving services to our customers.

“With the recent sale of our c2c franchise, we have further opportunity to invest in our fastest growing markets which deliver strong returns, but we will continue to do so in a disciplined manner. We have developed a strong track record and team in identifying and completing acquisitions that generate significant value and we have identified a strong pipeline of further opportunities. Our confidence in the future is demonstrated by the increase in our annual free cash flow guidance to £120 million and the proposed 10% increase in the final dividend.” 

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