Monday, March 12, 2012

U.S. riders aid Eurostar 2011 ridership, revenue

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U.S. travelers may be hard-pressed to incorporate high speed rail into their domestic travels, but apparently have few problems adding Eurostar as a component for their itineraries abroad. Eurostar said Monday U.S. passenger numbers rose 21% during 2011, contributing to an unaudited net profit of 20.8 million euros ($27 million) during the entity's first year as a standalone company.

Revenue for the year rose 6% to 803 million euros, up 6% from 760 million euros in 2010, as Eurostar moved 9.7 million passengers between London, Paris, Brussels, and other European cities, up 2% from the previous year.

Eurostar Chief Executive Nicolas Petrovic said, "Eurostar continues to make good progress against a difficult economic backdrop and ongoing uncertainty across Europe. Over the last year we have invested in upgrading our service and product and this has resulted in strong growth in sales revenues and passenger numbers. Having completed our first financial year as a standalone business and delivered a strong performance we are now well positioned to build on this momentum."

International passengers from outside the European Union not account for 9% of all Eurostar riders, with U.S. travelers augmented by customers from Latin America and Southeast Asia, Eurostar said.