National Express slumps into the red as Covid-19 puts brake on travel

National Express plunged deep into the red for the six months to June 30 as the Covid-19 crisis hit the travel sector hard.

The firm made a loss of £91m for the period, a dramatic drop from a £69.2m profit in 2019.

Revenues at the listed company also dropped by 23% to £1.03bn during the period.

In a trading statement, National Express said that although there has been a gradual restart to services and there are early signs of demand returning as restrictions are eased, activity remains at “suppressed” levels.

Dean Finch, National Express Group chief executive, said: “This has been an unprecedented period for us all and I am very proud of the response of colleagues across National Express. We worked quickly to put safety measures in place to protect customers and colleagues. Tragically we have lost valued colleagues to Covid-19 and have supported each family.

“During the lockdowns we proactively communicated with customers to vary service and negotiate additional support and payments. We have also secured exceptional governmental funding across all of our major markets and made use of furlough schemes. We were swift to save operating costs as we have nimbly reduced service. Alongside the actions taken to secure additional liquidity, covenant waivers and our recent Placing, the Group has significantly strengthened its financial position to navigate the pandemic.

“The decisive actions taken by our management team have no doubt secured the Group’s continuing future.”