Trainline’s ticket sales topped £1bn for the first half of this year for the first time since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as rail travel picked up sharply.
Ticket sales jumped 179 per cent in the period ending August 2021 compared to 12 months ago, when much of the rail network sat idle due to lockdown.
In today’s trading statement, the FTSE 250 firm said that it expected to post a profit of £13m-£15m for the period.
For the full year it is now predicting a profit of £35 to £40m, assuming there are no new lockdowns or fresh travel restrictions imposed.
Total ticket sales are expected to come in between £2.4bn and £2.8bn.
In the second quarter ticket sales hit 71 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, their highest share since March 2020.
Trainline added that 40 per cent of UK train tickets were sold online in the period, up from 20 per cent the year before.
Shares in the firm were up 1.0 per cent after an hour of trading.
Trainline chief executive Jody Ford said: “It is reassuring to see demand for rail travel coming back strongly in all markets across Europe, following an incredibly tough period for the industry.
“While it remains unclear how long it will take for demand to fully return, we remain positive about the long term tailwinds for the industry, including the significant planned investment in rail capacity, particularly on high speed routes, and a growing awareness of the environmental benefits of travelling by train versus other less sustainable modes of transport.”