National Express to relaunch bus business

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The new chief executive of National Express warned there was "much to do" to revive the group as he launched a shake-up of its "underperforming" UK bus arm yesterday.

Dean Finch, who joined in February, said there was "considerable scope" to improve the bus business – which operates in the West Midlands and Dundee – because costs had grown ahead of revenues during the past five years. He has begun a "complete overhaul" of the US divison, which runs school buses, and will take "hands on" control of National Express's businesses in order to drive up performance.

Mr Finch boss joined National Express from London Underground's Tube Lines after a disastrous year for its rail business. National Express returned its loss-making East Coast franchise in November after overbidding for the deal before recession struck. The company will also end its East Anglian and c2c commuter deals in 2011.

Mr Finch praised the performance of its Spanish and UK coach operations and said it had made an "encouraging" start to the year.