Whilst the business saw a sharp drop in passenger numbers in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks in November, trading has started to pick up over the first two months of the year and forward bookings for the summer are looking positive.
Throughout 2015, the strength of sterling impacted sales revenues. At constant exchange rates, sales revenues for 2015 were flat year-on-year whereas at actual rates sales revenues reduced by 5% (£821m 2015: £867m 2014). Underlying operating profit for the year was £34.0m (2014: £55.0m) with the year-on-year reduction due to adverse currency movements and costs relating to disruptions in 2015.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said: “After a challenging end to 2015, trading is picking up and the outlook for the summer is positive. With our new state-of-the-art trains and highly competitive fares to a range of destinations, we expect this trend to gather momentum over the coming months.”
New trains boast innovative onboard entertainment and wifi
￼ Following the introduction of eight e320 trains on the London-Paris route, passengers can enjoy a complete transformation of their travel experience as Eurostar unveils its new on-board entertainment service and wifi connectivity.
By connecting their mobile phone or tablet to the free on-board wifi, customers can unlock more than 300 hours of popular TV shows and movies ranging from the much acclaimed Sherlock series to the King’s Speech. With news, games, a special children’s zone and a live moving location map, the system sets a new benchmark for on-board entertainment in short haul travel.
Nicolas Petrovic continued: “The successful introduction of our new fleet marks an important milestone for the business as it transforms the travel experience for our customers. Our e320 trains bring the ultimate in style and comfort alongside the latest in on-board digital connectivity for both business and leisure travellers.”
Carrying 900 passengers as opposed to 750 on the original Eurostar trains, the e320 trains boost capacity by 20%. Equipped with interiors created by world-renowned Italian car designers, Pininfarina, the e320 brings a whole range of exciting new features including ergonomically designed reclining seats in all classes of service and digital screens featuring up-to-date journey information in each carriage.
With increased seat capacity on the e320, Eurostar is now offering its most competitive fares ever. The combination of a lead-in price of £29/€39 one way to Paris/Brussels/Lille and fares from £37 to hundreds of destinations across France, Holland and Belgium, makes Eurostar the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to travel between the UK and mainland Europe.