The Birmingham-based rail and bus operator National Express Group Wednesday announced its half-year profits shrunk by 21 percent after it was hit by freezing weather in the U.S. and strikes in Spain.
The transport group said the operating profit fell to 47.4 million pounds (80.1 million U.S. dollars) in the first half of this year, compared with 59.7 million pounds in the same period of last year.
The pre-tax profit fell 32 by percent to 23.4 million pounds on revenue of 939.5 million pounds, down 2 percent, in the same period of last year.
National Express Group is an international public transport operator, with bus, coach and rail services in Britain, continental Europe, North Africa and North America.
The group, which ran school buses and a transit business in North America, was hit by extreme winter weather that caused schools to close and costs to rise, and operating profits were fell by 18 percent to 35.2 million pounds.
In Spain, where operating profit fell by 8 percent to 31.7 million pounds, its bus business was disrupted by strikes.
However, the group insisted it has made positive progress in the first half of 2014, winning 5 billion pounds of new contracts and sustaining market-leading contract retention rates.
"We have made important progress in the first half of the year. Our success in retaining the Essex Thameside rail franchise confirms our long term future in UK rail," said Dean Finch, the group's chief executive.
"Other major contract successes across the Group demonstrate the quality of our services and strength of our reputation in the markets we serve. Our strong cash generation remains a highlight and a particular focus of the business this year." (1 pound = 1.7 U.S. dollars)