National Express brings bus, coach and rail together
National Express Group is to shed about 100 staff as it seeks to centralise administration of the company's bus, coach and rail operations in Birmingham.
The changes, which will cost £8.5m and are expected to save £11m a year, come as the company announced an 18% rise in half year pretax profits to £79m. Chief executive Richard Bowker said the redundancies would be primarily in management roles and there would be 'significant cost savings' in property and back office costs.
National Express recently failed to win the new East Midlands rail franchise, which was won by Stagecoach Group and will replace its Midland Mainline contract. It was also among the bidders defeated by Arriva in the race for the new Cross Country franchise. The group has gone from being the country's biggest train operator a few years ago to having two franchises - London-Essex operator C2C and East Anglia operator One, beyond next year. Its hopes for expanding its UK rail portfolio now rest on its bid for the high profile East Coast inter-city rail contract, the outcome of which is expected in early autumn.
In a conference call with journalists, Bowker declined to reveal the contents of a recent debrief from the Department for Transport about why it had lost MML. He also refused to comment on whether the group would import the management team from MML, which has topped recent industry performance tables, into the East Coast operation if the company's bid proves successful.
Bowker also declined to elaborate on recent speculation that it may bid for the Chiltern Railways franchise, which has been put up for sale by owner John Laing and fund manager Henderson. "We will always keep an eye open for high quality assets that added value and complement our overall portfolio," he said.
Bowker said he was particularly pleased with the performance of the company's overseas operations, which include recently acquired Spanish coach and bus businesses Alsa and Continental Auto. He said the group would look for acquisitions in Europe on an individual basis in countries as well as the UK and Spain where there is a benign regulatory environment, pro-public transport attitude and a favourable approach to public-private partnerships. "If opportunities come up elsewhere, of course we'll go and look at them," he said.
We already have M&B/6 Continents which is FTSE 100 isn't it?
Cadbury's official address is London but it's home is Brum
6 continents died ages ago with the hub hub of Intercontinental etc.
As for FTSE 100 etc, it depends where they list their business - some companies list in US and under different listings. As my friend says its legalised gambling the stock market.
Simon, yes National Express own TWM. Look at their website, they own a darn site more too.