Eurostar holds up in Olympic year

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Eurostar carried 9.9 million passengers in 2012

Eurostar continued to see steady leisure traffic throughout 2012, helping the train operator more than double its operating profits despite the Olympics.

Passenger numbers for 2012 at the company were up 2% to 9.9 million, with more travellers from outside the EU taking a journey. Its leisure market improved 3% while business traffic remained flat, with its post-Olympics traffic (Q4) up 5%.

As a result the rail operator saw its operating profit increase to GBP52.3m from GBP25m in 2011, although its sales revenues dropped from GBP803m (2011) to GBP799m.

“Growth in traveller numbers was particularly strong in the fourth quarter of the year as European and international travellers flocked to the capital,” said Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive, Eurostar.

The rail operator will hope to secure its third continuous year of profits in 2013 with the introduction of a new fleet worth GBP700m while also expand its ski services into Switzerland through a tie-up with TGV Lyria. The company will also trial services to Lyon and Provence later this year.

“The next couple of years will see the transformation of our business with a range of initiatives including the delivery of a new fleet and the launch of new services.  Today’s results are testament to the substantial growth opportunities within the business and the continuing drive to unlock this potential,” added Petrovic.

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