A number of articles in the media are suggesting that the likely high increase in rail fares could benefit National Express (NX) even more with disgruntled rail passengers moving over to NX coach services instead. There has been much talk in the media of compound rises in rail fares of 40% by 2014 although this has perhaps understandably been played down by the government.
NX Coach services may not have an effect on commuter routes such as those between Essex and London which are regarded as something of a guaranteed market, but longer journeys may well see people move from train to coach.
National Express yesterday reported that it was on target to meet full-year profit forecasts, with analysts expecting a pre-tax profit of more than £153m. Last year NX reported a pre-tax loss of £83.5m as it struggled with debts of more than £1bn, three attempted takeover bids and losing the prestigious east coast rail franchise.