Passenger growth due to improved services sees revenue increase for the Group in 2018
National Express Group has released its full year results for 2018, with “particularly outstanding performances in UK coach”.
Overall, UK revenue increased by 2.8% to £577m, with the annual growth rate impacted by the exit from Eurolines and its hotel Hoppa services towards the end of 2017.
“Strong commercial passenger growth” has also driven this revenue increase, says the Group, with core coach setting a new record of 20.7m passengers (up 5.2%).
Both the coach and bus sides of the business have driven organic growth by focusing on improving their core customer service proposition during the year. This includes enhancing websites and apps, improving network efficiency and applying sophisticated pricing.
This has led both businesses to improve their revenue per mile: Bus up 4%; coach up 11.5%.
There was also an increase in revenue secured through digital channels for both coach and bus.
Digital ticket use in buses has increased from 40% of journeys at the beginning of 2018 to 60% at the year end, while 70% of core coach’s revenue is now secured through digital channels (up 3%).
The coach business also saw significant growth in ancillary income, such as insurance products, a seat reservation option and extra leg room, leading to a 12% increase in ancillary revenue.
“The UK businesses have started 2019 well and are pursuing a range of commercial initiatives to further grow passengers and revenue,” says the Group.
Such initiatives include the recently-added new services providing early morning departures from London Victoria Coach Station direct to Cardiff, Nottingham, Leicester, Swindon, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Bristol and Bath.