Eurostar has reported solid performance during the third quarter of 2012, with passenger numbers broadly flat year-on-year at 2.6 million.
Travel patterns, however, were significantly influenced by the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, with fewer travellers using the international rail service.
Passenger numbers were up four per cent during the Games compared with 2011 but the number of leisure travellers coming from the continent to London in July was lower than last year.
The business market was similarly impacted as companies advised their employees to steer clear of the capital in the run-up to the Olympics.
These factors, combined with the movement in the sterling/euro exchange rate over recent months, have resulted in sales revenues for quarter three falling by five per cent compared to the same period in 2011, from £197 million to £188 million.
Overall for the year to date, passenger numbers were up from 7.3 million to 7.4 million with sales revenues down one per cent to £612 million this year from £619 million in 2011.
Since the end of the Games Eurostar has seen growth in passenger numbers and sales revenues signalling a positive outlook for quarter four.
As a sponsor of the London 2012 Games, Eurostar played a key role bringing hundreds of thousands of fans and athletes to the Games.
Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “We have had an inspiring and rewarding summer bringing athletes and spectators from around the world to the Olympic Games.
“While many corporate clients and business customers decided to steer clear of London during the Games, we nonetheless delivered a solid performance.
“Looking ahead to the end of the year, the outlook is strong.”
Production of the new Eurostar e320 trainsets is underway in Germany
New Eurostar trains
After a successful summer in which many customers travelled with Eurostar for the first time the business is pleased to announce significant progress to its £700 million fleet investment programme.
This complete overhaul of the fleet includes the refurbishment of its existing sets and the purchase of ten new trains all of which will feature a unique design by Pininfarina, the world-famous Italian design house renowned for its legendary car designs.
The production of the new trains which began last year is progressing well and the first of Eurostar’s existing fleet has now gone into refurbishment.
With the refurbishment of its current train sets and the addition of its new e320 trains, Eurostar is on schedule to complete the transformation of its entire fleet by 2015.
Petrovic continued: “The redesign and upgrading of our fleet marks the next phase of our business.
“With customers increasingly opting for rail over plane for short-haul journeys across Europe, we want to provide an unrivalled travel experience between the UK and the continent and to encourage more passengers to choose high speed rail as their preferred option.”