Eurostar reports strong growth in 2010 with sales revenue up 12% compared with 2009

14 Jan 2011
  • 2010 sales revenues up 12% and total passenger numbers up 3% compared to 2009
  • Customers are increasingly travelling between London and the South of France, Germany and the Netherlands
  • Continued uplift in business class sales

Eurostar, the high-speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, today announced a continued increase in overall sales revenue in 2010 compared with 2009.

Sales revenue for the year is up 12% on 2009, from £675.5m to £760m.

This uplift is due to the continued recovery of the business market that has been a trend through the year as well as growth in the overall number of passengers choosing high-speed rail over plane for short-haul travel in Europe.

Healthy growth in business revenues
During the year the business market has performed well reflecting the bounce-back in business activity first reported in the second quarter. This increase underlines growing recognition among business travellers of the ease, speed and comfort of high speed rail travel, and the value of productive working time whilst in transit.

Overall passenger numbers on the increase
The number of passengers travelling on Eurostar in 2010 rose to 9.5 million compared with 9.2 million during 2009, an increase of over 3%.

The growth is due to the increasing number of people opting for high speed rail for short haul European travel and choosing to travel beyond Paris and Brussels to destinations in Holland, Germany and the South of France.

Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said:
"We have reported a strong performance in 2010 with growth in both sales revenues and passenger numbers. The turnaround in the business market continued in the second half of the year. We are also starting to see a real shift in behaviour as customers are increasingly keen to explore new destinations by high speed rail."

2010: A transformational year for Eurostar
On September 1st 2010, Eurostar achieved its ambition of transforming its business from a partnership between three railways – SNCF, LCR and SNCB – to a single, unified corporate entity. This new structure puts Eurostar in a strong position to compete in an open-access world of on-rail competition.

At the same time, Eurostar also announced a major capital investment of £700m in its fleet. This programme of investment which begins in 2011 includes the complete overhaul and redesign of its existing fleet as well as the purchase of 10 new trains. The new Eurostar e320 trains will be equipped to travel direct to a range of city centre destinations beyond Eurostar's main routes of London-Paris and London-Brussels.

Nicolas Petrovic added:
"This is an exciting time for our passengers and our industry. With the expansion of new routes and services we are witnessing a real renaissance in rail travel. The combination of shorter journey times and environmental concerns are prompting more and more customers to choose high speed rail over plane. As the key link between the UK and the continent we see considerable potential for growth and expansion in an open-access world."

- ENDS

Note to editors:

1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland Resort Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.

2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.

3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 100 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet.

The new Eurostar e320 will carry more than 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.

4. Journey times to Amsterdam, Cologne, Lyon and Marseille are as follows:

· London to Amsterdam - 4 hours 16 minutes

· London to Cologne - 4 hours 11 minutes

· London to Lyon - 5 hours 4 minutes

· London to Marseille - 6 hours 15 minutes

5. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding, European high-speed rail network.

6. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.

7. To book tickets or for more travel information, please visit www.eurostar.com or call 03448 224 777.

8. Sales revenue is the value of ticket sales made during the period

For more information contact:
Eurostar Press Office
Eurostar
t:0044 (0)20 7843 5500
e:press.office@eurostar.com