- Transport operator National Express has reported a group operating loss of £26.1m, although performance is ahead of expectations during the period.

Underlying operating profit is up by £54 million year on year despite reduced revenue, to £22.9m, demonstrating the impact of the £100 million cost savings outlined at the 2020 Full Year results.

UK revenues declined by 8.9% in the period to £172.8 million

The UK business delivered an operating loss in the first half of the year of £19.9m although this was at a much-reduced level compared to the second half of 2020

£1.0bn in cash and undrawn committed facilities are available, and no material refinancing will be required until 2023.

Ignacio Garat, National Express Group chief executive said: 'It is pleasing to see the continued improving performance trajectory across the Group over the first half of the year, despite ongoing Covid restrictions and I'm delighted to report a return to positive Underlying Operating Profit and free cash flow in the period.'

Garat also welcomed the strong recovery in demand for services as economies start to emerge from lockdown restrictions.

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