Trainline’s shares soared more than 12 per cent this morning after the firm unveiled a £50m share buyback scheme on the back of booming ticket sales.
Group net ticket sales at the online retailer grew by nearly a quarter to £2.6bn in the six months to August, taking revenues to £197m, a 20 per cent jump on last year.
Growth was led by Trainline’s international segment, which rose 24 per cent to £559m and was driven by stellar performances in its key markets, Spain and Italy.
That helped the ticketing business offset the impact of industrial action in the UK, which has led to swathes of the rail network being shut several times in recent months.
Jody Ford, chief executive officer of Trainline, said: “Our performance in the first half of the year shows continued strong growth — with net ticket sales and revenues increasing across the UK and Europe.
“Given our continued growth and the strength and maturity of our business, we are today launching a share buyback programme to begin returning capital to shareholders.”
Trainline’s UK business also saw strong growth, with UK ticket sales rising 19 per cent year-on-year to £1.7bn despite the significant disruption from train strikes.
A total of 11 strikes in the first half dented ticket sales at an estimated cost of £5m-£6m a day, but surging passenger volumes to near pre-Covid levels ensured UK consumer revenues rose 16 per cent to £102m.
The FTSE 250 company’s outlook remains unchanged for the year ahead, with turnover expected to rise between 13 and 22 per cent annually.
Trainline has enjoyed a stellar performance this year as its international unit continues to gain market share, with analysts noting stronger carrier competition on key European rail lines.
May’s annual results saw the company hit record ticket sales of £4.3bn, up 72 per cent year-on-year and 16 per cent higher than before the pandemic.
Neil Shah, head of research at Edison Group, said: “The firm’s outlook is bullish, forecasting full-year growth between 13 per cent and 22 per cent across ticket sales and revenue.”
“Further solidifying their confidence, they’ve hinted at potentially returning surplus capital to shareholders, possibly via further share repurchases.”