Tuesday 5 November 2019 8:00 am

IPO costs knock Trainline into loss despite jump in ticket sales

Trainline fell to a post-tax loss of £89m following its June IPO despite a 20 per cent boost to net ticket sales in its half-year results, it said today.

Read more: Trainline increases revenue expectations as sales soar

The figures

Trainline recorded an £89m loss after tax in the six months to the end of August, mostly owing to costs related to its IPO.

But revenue rocketed 29 per cent to £129m, on the back of a 19 per cent rise in ticket sales to £1.84bn.

Adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) almost doubled to £42m.

However, the losses incurred by the ticket-booking app saw shareholders make a basic loss per share of 20.3p, much heavier than the 2.5p loss per share it recorded this time last year.

Free cashflow increased from £2m to £60m and net debt fell to stand at 0.5 times Ebitda, down from 3.4 times Ebitda a year ago.

Why it’s interesting

Trainline’s £1.7bn IPO in June saw it price its shares at 350p, and since then the value of its stock has climbed as high as 489p.

Read more: Trainline’s shares surge in £1.7bn London IPO

However, shares have dropped off since September to 421p at yesterday’s close. Trainline has warned it expected UK sales to be “significantly lower” due to the annualisation of new revenue streams.

UK consumer sales grew 25 per cent in the first half of Trainline’s year, it revealed today, while UK revenue rose 34 per cent.

Trainline credited “increasing mobile demand driven by increasing e-ticket availability and adoption by customers” for the rise.

The company has benefited from ticket sales shifting online, while revenue growth outstripped investor expectations of a low-to-mid 20 per cent rise.

The firm still expects lower UK consumer revenue in the second half of the year, and stuck to September guidance of net ticket sales growth of in the “high-teens”, as well as low-to-mid 20 per cent growth in overall revenue.

Read more: These are the pros and cons of Saudi Aramco’s IPO

What Trainline said

CEO Claire Gilmartin said:

We are pleased to have achieved strong growth in the first half of our financial year and to have made good progress against our strategic priorities. This includes enhancing our user experience and championing mobile, which in turn accelerated the ongoing shift of customers from offline to online.

We continue to focus on making rail and coach travel easier for customers worldwide, thereby encouraging a much greener way to travel. As most rail and coach tickets continue to be sold offline at the station, and as customers and governments commit to more environmentally friendly modes of travel, we see significant growth opportunities for Trainline over the long term.

More to follow.