Trainline takes £2m fee hit after pulling its plans for auction sale

 
Michael Bow
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PRIVATE equity-backed train ticket website thetrainline.com saw pre-tax losses narrow last year despite forking out £2.1m in advisory fees for its aborted auction sale last July.

The ticketing company, which is owned by Quorn Foods backer Exponent Private Equity, posted a pre-tax loss of £1.03m for the year ending 2 March 2013 versus a £6.18m loss in the same period last year after stronger operating profits. The company also said it spent £2.1m on advisory fees for its mooted sale, hitting its profits. Exponent appointed Rothschild to help sell the business last year but a spate of low bids forced the company to pull the plans.

Despite these costs, thetrainline boasted a 6.5 per cent increase in ticket sales for the year, taking rail ticket sales to £1.4bn from £1.3bn in the prior year.