Eurostar capitalised on London’s major events in 2012 to more than double its operating profits, despite seeing a flat year for business travel.
The cross-Channel train operator made an operating profit of £52.3 million last year compared to £25 million in 2011, as it cashed in on events such as the Olympics and the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.
Eurostar said that passenger numbers went up by 2 per cent to 9.9 million in 2012 compared to 9.7 million the previous year. Sales revenue was down slightly at £799 million (versus £803 million in 2011) although this drop was due to changes in exchange rates over the year – revenue would have been up by 5 per cent on a “constant currency” basis.
Leisure passengers grew by 3 per cent in 2012 while the number of business travellers was flat year-on-year.
Chief executive Nicolas Petrovic 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.
“This growth in profitability is driven by an increase in the volume of passengers combined with strong cost management across the business.”
Eurostar added that demand had been strongest in the final three months of 2012 with traffic up by 5 per cent.