Eurostar reports a solid performance in third quarter of 2012

18 Oct 2012
  • Passenger numbers stable in Q3 year on year at 2.6 million passengers
  • During the Olympics passenger numbers were up 4% compared with the same period in 2011
  • Year to date traveller numbers are up on 2011 (7.4 million in 2012 versus 7.3 million in 2011)
  • Positive outlook for the 2012 year end as bookings bounce back post-Olympics
  • Investment in new fleet of Eurostar trains progressing well

Eurostar, the high speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, today reported a solid performance during the third quarter of 2012. During this period passenger numbers were broadly flat year-on-year at 2.6 million although travel patterns were significantly influenced by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Passenger numbers were up 4% during the Games1 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 5% 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 1% to £612 million this year from £619 million in 2011.2 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. In addition to transporting the French, Belgian and Dutch Olympic teams, Eurostar carried out extensive modifications to its trains in order to transport the French and Belgian Paralympic teams to and from London.

Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said:

"We have had an inspiring and rewarding summer bringing athletes and spectators from around the world to the Olympic Games. Whilst 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. Bookings have bounced back and we are now seeing a return to more typical travel patterns. With the tremendous boost that London has experienced over the summer we are looking forward to capitalising on the city's post-Olympic glow".

Update on 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 10 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.

Nicolas 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."

ends

Definitions:

  • Sales revenue is the value of ticket bookings made during the period. This revenue is only recognised in the profit and loss account at the date on which the passenger actually travels.
  • Passenger volumes reflect the number of travellers carried by Eurostar in the period

Notes to editors:

  1. During the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games (27 July to 12 August and 29 August to 9 September 2012) passenger numbers were up year-on-year from 768,000 in 2011 to 799,000 in 2012.
  2. The recent movements in exchange rates over the last quarter have had a negative impact on the sales revenues as rates fluctuated by up to 3% over the last three months. Had the exchange rate remained constant over 2011 and 2012, sales revenues would have been up by 2% for Q3 2012 and up 4% for the year-to-date 2012, as opposed to being down 5% and 1% respectively.
  3. This winter, Eurostar is offering a new weekly service between London and some of Switzerland's most popular ski resorts with the international high-speed train service, "TGV Lyria". The new service will carry ski and snowboarding enthusiasts from St Pancras International and Ashford International to the heart of the Swiss Alps and the Valais region. Resorts including; Verbier, Zermatt, Saas Fee and Gstaad will be served on the new route from Saturday 22 December until Saturday 13 April 2013. With an easy connection in Lille Europe on to a high-speed "TGV Lyria" service, passengers will arrive into Aigle, Martigny, Visp and Brig stations for quick onward transfers to their ski resorts.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 115 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet.
  7. 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.

For more information please contact:
Eurostar Press Office / t: 00 44 (0) 20 7843 5500 / e: press.office@eurostar.com