Published 12th March 2012
LONDON - Eurostar has been operating trains since 1994 and has always turned in a loss until last year. The Company is 40% owned by the UK Government, 55% by French Railways SNCF and 5% by SNCB, Belgium’s rail company.
Passenger revenues were just over £800m generated by carrying 9.7m passengers producing profits of £208m.
Plans to run direct trains from London to Amsterdam and Cologne are being made and are waiting for delivery of the new Siemens built trains to be delivered and commissioned. These services are scheduled to operate from December 2014 and could also serve Switzerland and run to the Mediterranean if the demand is there. They will be able to convey 900 passengers at up to 200mph if required and the new fleet will cost £700m.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive, Eurostar, said “Eurostar continues to make good progress against a difficult economic backdrop and ongoing uncertainty across Europe. Over the last year we have invested in upgrading our service and product and this has resulted in strong growth in sales revenues and passenger numbers. Having completed our first financial year as a standalone business and delivered a strong performance we are now well positioned to build on this momentum.”
Total sales revenue in 2011 grew by 6%, from £760m to £803m, with particularly strong growth in the second half of the year. On a like for like basis, after adjusting the 2010 results for the volcanic ash cloud impact1, sales revenues have grown by 10% and showed positive growth in each quarter throughout 2011.
The number of leisure travellers grew by 2% year on year with particularly strong growth in Q4, which was 4% higher than in 2010.
Petrovic said that “As we look to the year ahead, the combination of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, will make the capital one of the ‘hottest’ destinations in the world this year. As a proud sponsor of the Games, we are well advanced in our preparations and are looking forward to playing an integral role as the key link between London and near continental Europe.”
Eurostar has just announced that over 150,000 seats are now on sale at a fare from £69 return for travel up to 7 July 2012.
Channel Tunnel Operators Eurotunnel has announced an investment which when complete will enable all passengers to use mobile phones while in the tunnel under the English Channel between France and England. The signal will be operative in the other direction after the Olympics when the 2nd tunnel bore has been fitted by UK phone operators.
Eurotunnel’s aim is to have up and running a 2G (GSM 900,DCS1800) and 3G (UMTS 2100) GSM-P system before the Olympics which will also allow w-fi to be used.
The project has been costed at €14m and is the result of an agreement between Eurotunnel, Bouygues Telecom, Orange SFR and Free. The required signal will be provided by means of a radiating cable and repeaters positioned every 750 metres.