Shares in National Express were up on the FTSE 250 in afternoon trading after the group reported revenue growth in its interim management statement for the third quarter ended 30 September and said it expected to resume the payment of dividends.

Revenue was reported to be up despite "challenging economic conditions", while the group added that it was on track to achieve its profit expectations for the 2010 full year.

In Britain the group said that the progress of its recovery plan for the Bus division had been "excellent", with operating profit up five million pounds year on year in the third quarter. Underlying Bus revenue increased two per cent year on year in Q3

The group's British Coach division also saw underlying revenue rise four per cent in the year to date. The group said sales had been helped by growth in its airport business and events such as the Glastonbury Festival and the recent visit of the Pope to Birmingham.

National Express' UK Rail division reported a rise in underlying revenue of seven per cent in the third quarter.

Meanwhile in Spain the group said its performance had been flat, reflecting a "subdued" and "broadly unchanged" economic climate in the country during Q3.

In the US however the group returned to revenue growth in Q3, contract volumes were reported as being flat year on year and 1,600 new routes were secured. However the business still saw underlying year to date revenue drop one per cent, albeit with an improving trend.

National Express added that it was embarking on "more complex areas of fleet and procurement efficiency" in order to complete its goal of making $40 million in annual cost savings in its US business by the end of next year.

Overall the group said its net debt had risen in Q3 "in line with seasonal norms", before adding that it expects to resume dividend payments at the end of the year.

Dean Finch, Chief Executive of National Express, said, "Whilst the economic outlook remains challenging, National Express is well placed to drive margin improvement through its growth, yield management and cost control initiatives. We are making great progress in UK Bus, Rail and North America, whilst delivering strong, stable returns in our other two businesses, Spain and UK Coach. We are driving real improvement for shareholders and customers alike."

By 13:25 shares in National Express were up 2.06 per cent on the FTSE 250 to 242.50 pence per share.