Eurostar has reported a strong performance in 2012 marked by rising passenger numbers and good growth in profitability.
Despite the difficult economic backdrop, passenger numbers for the year ended December 31st 2012 rose two per cent from 9.7 million to 9.9 million.
While business travel remained flat, the uplift in passengers was underpinned by continuing resilience in the leisure travel market as the number of leisure passengers grew by three per cent compared to the previous year.
The number of international travellers originating outside the EU has shown particularly strong growth during 2012, with volumes up eight per cent year-on-year.
Responding to the difficult European economic environment, Eurostar has invested heavily in its international marketing capitalising on London’s year in the spotlight with the Jubilee celebrations and a summer of sporting action.
Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive, Eurostar, said: “Despite the challenging economic climate we delivered a strong performance in 2012.
“The combination of the Olympic Games and the Jubilee gave London a major boost showcasing the city as a prime travel destination.
“Growth in traveller numbers was particularly strong in the fourth quarter of the year as European and international travellers flocked to the capital.”
In 2011 Eurostar delivered its first profit in its first full year of operation as a standalone company.
Continuing this momentum, the business today reports an operating profit of £52.3 million in 2012, up from £25.0 million in 2011.
This growth in profitability is driven by an increase in the volume of passengers combined with strong cost management across the business.
Sales revenues in 2012 were broadly flat year-on-year at £799 million versus £803 million in 2011.
The sales revenues were, however, heavily impacted by the movements in exchange rates over the year.
At constant (€1.15) exchange rates, sales revenues increased by five per cent.