Eurostar has reported a strong performance in 2017, underpinned by an uplift in business traffic and a surge in the number of travellers from the US.
Sales revenues at the high-speed passenger rail service between the UK and mainland Europe were up by 11 per cent, to £880 million, for 2017, compared to £794 million in 2016.
Year-on-year and passenger numbers rose by three per cent, to 10.3 million.
Eurostar reported a preliminary unaudited operating profit of £57.6 million in 2017, compared to a loss of around £25 million the previous year.
The increase in the number of US visitors choosing to travel by Eurostar continued throughout the year with the volume of passengers growing by 26 per cent versus 2016.
With the royal wedding in the UK in May and Paris hosting the Ryder Cup in September, the boost in traffic from the US market looks set to continue in 2018.
Nicolas Petrovic, chief executive of Eurostar, said: “Last year we saw a real revival in the US market combined with good growth in business travel.
“Following a positive performance in 2017 we are now well placed to expand our reach to The Netherlands.
“With over four million passengers travelling by air every year between London and Amsterdam, the growth potential for the service and the overall market is significant.”
The volume of business travellers on Eurostar also grew by eight per cent last year compared with 2016 reinforcing the appetite among business passengers for the speed, ease and convenience of high speed rail over plane.
Following the inaugural journey last week, tickets are now on sale for Eurostar’s new route to Amsterdam with the first commercial service departing from London St. Pancras on April 4th.