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Britain's National Express revenue climbs back to pre-COVID levels

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(Reuters) - British transport firm National Express Group said on Tuesday its first-quarter revenue jumped 30%, bouncing back to 2019 levels on pent-up travel demand in the United Kingdom and Spain.

The company, which operates in eight countries across Europe and North America, said it was confident in its short- and long-term outlook, with 2022 revenue also in line with pre-pandemic levels.

"The cost of living crisis is starting to bite for many people, and our bus services offer an attractive low cost alternative form of travel," Chief Executive Officer Ignacio Garat said.

March revenue was higher compared with the same month in 2019, the London-listed firm added.

The Birmingham-based company said it was seeing a strong recovery in its airport routes in the UK and Germany, with passenger demand up 40% month-on-month in March.

National Express' attempt to buy Stagecoach, Britain's biggest bus and coach operator, hit a setback in March after a European fund trumped its 445 million pound ($566.71 million) bid with a higher proposal.

($1 = 0.7852 pounds)

(Reporting by Shanima A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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