US passenger boost for Eurostar

US passenger boost for Eurostar

A rise in US travellers helped boost sales and passenger numbers at Eurostar in the first half of the year .

Revenue in the six months to June rose 4% on a year ago to £421 million with passenger numbers up by 3% to 4.7 million.

The company said that growth was particularly strong given that last year's figures benefited from increased revenues resulting from the Icelandic ash cloud disruption to air services.

The number of international passengers rose by 21%, driven in part by a "strong increase" in numbers from the US.

Commenting on the ash cloud impact, Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: "It really helped us because many people tried our service who had never tried it before.

"Our key selling point against airlines is convenience, comfort, and the ability to work on board."

Excluding the positive impact of the ash disruption on the figures for 2010, when Eurostar ran 70 extra trains and carried 100,000 extra passengers, the company said underlying revenues were 12% higher.

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