Thursday 6 May 2021 7:45 am

Trainline posts £100m loss as sales drop through the floor

Trainline has reported a huge £100m loss for the year as lockdown restrictions sent sales plummeting.

The company reported an operating loss of £100m compared to an operating profit of £2m the previous year, as net ticket sales plummeted 79 per cent to £783m.

The FTSE 250 firm’s revenue dropped 74 per cent from £261m to £67m at the end of February.

It has been a challenging year for Trainline. At the start of the pandemic UK passenger volumes fell to around five per cent of the equivalent prior year period.

Demand for rail journeys is likely to stay depressed for some time particularly as companies start to adopt a hybrid working approach.

However the company said vaccine rollouts and the easing of lockdown restrictions are encouraging signs, and it has already seen some recovery in ticket sales in the first quarter.

Trainline said penetration of the UK eticket market had increased from 21 per cent to 30 per cent and estimates they sell around 70 per cent of all etickets.

“Our continued investment in product and tech through COVID-19 means, despite the ongoing COVID-19 uncertainty, we are well positioned to support the wider industry recovery and continue driving the market shift to online and mobile tickets,” chief executive Jody Ford said.

“Looking ahead I feel very confident about Trainline’s prospects for the future. We remain committed to championing rail as a greener mode of travel for millions of customers around Europe, and to driving the significant long-term growth opportunity for this business.”