Eurostar, the high-speed railway service that connects the UK with mainland Europe via the Channel Tunnel, has today reported growth in both revenue and passenger numbers for 2014.
For its 20th anniversary of operation, the company has reported year-on-year growth of three percent in passenger numbers, while business travel increased by four percent year-on year. Eurostar also announced its new e320 trains during 2014, and they will be entering service by the end of the year.
Last year 10.4 million passengers travelled on Eurostar, taking the company’s total passenger number since the start of services in 1994 to over 150 million. 2014 sales revenues increased by one percent, to GBP867 million.
Eurostar stated that this performance was underpinned, in particular, by the strong recovery in the UK economy, which also led to an increase in business travel bookings throughout the year.
In 2014, Eurostar also unveiled its state of the art new e320 train at St Pancras International station. With the e320 due to enter commercial service at the end of this year, the company says that passengers can look forward to an unparalleled level of style, comfort and service.
Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said: ‘2014 was a pivotal year for our business as we celebrated our 20th anniversary and unveiled our new fleet. Our new e320 trains are now in the final months of testing and on schedule to come into commercial service at the end of this year. As we introduce new trains, upgrade our stations and invest in our service, passengers can look forward to a complete transformation of their travel experience.’
Eurostar International, a UK-based high-speed rail service that operates between the UK and mainland Europe, and which is also an official supporter of the London 2012 Festival, has reported a slowdown in its business travel as European countries fight an economic slowdown.
In the first six months of 2012, the rail company has reported only a 2 percent increase in passenger traffic, to 4.8 million, from 4.7 million reported in the same period in 2011. Commensurate with the small increment in passenger traffic, the sales revenue has also increased by 1 percent to GBP425 million in the first half of 2012, compared to GBP421 million in the same period last year.
Nicolas Petrovic, the chief executive officer of Eurostar, said, ‘We have delivered a resilient performance in the first half of the year despite the difficult economic climate. Leisure bookings have continued to grow and we have seen good take-up for travel to London over the summer period.
During the Queen’s Jubilee we had one of our busiest weekends on record and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across Europe to enjoy all the attractions that London has to offer for the Games.
Whilst leisure sales have held up over the last six months, there is no doubt that corporate clients and business travellers, particularly in the financial services industry, are feeling the squeeze and are cutting back on their travel budgets as they adapt to the economic environment.
The combination of economic pressures and the London 2012 Games has meant that we are seeing different travel patterns this year. The traditional European summer close-down for business is kicking in earlier as all eyes turn to the Olympic celebrations in London.’