Eurostar reports a resilient performance in the first half of 2012
Posted: 12 July 2012 | | No comments yet
Passenger numbers up 2% to 4.8 million in H1 2012…
Eurostar, the high speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, today reported continuing growth in passenger numbers and a resilient performance in sales revenues in the first half of 2012. In the first six months of the year, passenger numbers rose by 2% to 4.8 million from 4.7 million in H1 2011. Sales revenues remained robust growing by 1% to £425 million in H1 2012 from £421 million in the same period last year.
The growth over the first half of the year has been driven by leisure travel as customers on both sides of the channel continue to enjoy leisure breaks. Business travel, which was broadly flat in the first quarter of 2012, weakened in the second quarter as the number of public holidays and the eurozone crisis impacted on many business customers’ travel plans.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive 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.”
Travel on Eurostar continues to be a major attraction for international travellers coming to London with the number of passengers originating outside Europe growing by 11% in the first half of 2012 compared with last year. This was driven in part by a strong increase in the number of passengers originating from the US and the Far East who see a trip on Eurostar as an integral part of the European tour – particularly in an Olympic year.
As a sponsor of the London 2012 Games, Eurostar is playing a key role in bringing both spectators and athletes to the Games. In addition to transporting the French and Belgian Olympic and Paralympic teams, Eurostar is also staging ‘Traction’ an original one-day summer arts festival on Saturday 14 July as part of the London 2012 Festival activities. ‘Traction’ will be held at London’s newest creative venue, Granary Square, beside Eurostar’s London terminal. This event will bring together up and coming musical, dance and arts performers from across Europe to celebrate the diversity of European talent.