Rise in business passengers pushes Eurostar revenues up over 10 per cent

A Surge in business customers and American tourists helped Eurostar push its first-quarter sales revenue up 10.7 per cent to £197m.

The total number of passengers transported rose 7.5 per cent year-on-year to 2.15m. The firm, which operates trains through the Channel Tunnel, says the royal wedding will help push passenger numbers up further this month and pointed to the 2012 Olympics as another revenue booster.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “We are pleased to report strong growth during the first quarter of 2011 in both sales revenues and passenger numbers. While market conditions remain uncertain, we have seen an increase in business passenger volumes with a particular uplift from clients in the financial services sector.”

Eurostar said a rise in business traveller numbers helped to fuel a 12 per cent rise in its annual revenue last year. Total ticket sales rose to £760m for the year, up from £675.5m in 2009.

Last year the firm said it will buy 10 new trains for £700m to add to its existing fleet as it extends services to Amsterdam and Geneva.