Bus and train group National Express said overall third quarter trading remained resilient, despite increasing austerity measures, with profit on target for the year.
The transport operator saw a strong performance in UK bus and in rail while coach endured a difficult year.
It added that 2013 fuel costs will increase by £11m year-on-year. The group, which has completed its hedge fuelling programme for 2013, said UK bus fuel costs will increase by £3m, in Spain by £4m and North America by £4m.
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Otherwise it said trading remained resilient in Spain while North America school bus revenue grew 2% year-to-date after a successful start-up to the new school year and following a strong bid season and 97% contract retention.
"The group remains on track to deliver its profit expectations for 2012. The outlook for 2013 remains challenging with low economic growth, government funding pressure and fuel cost inflation likely to constrain progress," the group said in its third quarter update.
"However, our developing pipeline of opportunities in new and liberalising markets will present attractive avenues for growth."
National Express said its financial position remains strong and further analysis of the forthcoming IAS 19 pension accounting change in 2013 has confirmed a limited adverse impact, of around £2m to the UK Bus division earnings, with negligible effect on operating profit in other divisions.
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