HIGH-SPEED operator Eurostar Group, formed through the merger of Eurostar and Thalys in May 2022, has reported turnover of €1.53bn for 2022, two and half times higher than the figure for 2021.
Ebitda in 2022 was a record €332m, which Eurostar Group says is “a remarkable result” in the context of inflation and industrial action that has disrupted train operation in Britain, Belgium and France.
Eurostar Group carried 14.8 million passengers in 2022, including 8.3 million on Eurostar services from London to Paris, Brussels, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
A total of 6.5 million passenger were carried in 2022 on Thalys services from Paris to Brussels, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Cologne.
Eurostar Group says that “following a severe Covid downturn in early 2022,” passenger traffic recovered from 30% to 80% of previous volumes in only three months.
The highest rates of growth were seen between Paris and Amsterdam and on the London - Netherlands route, where volume has more than doubled when compared with the period before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Traffic has been boosted by the introduction in October 2020 of direct services operating directly between London and Amsterdam in both directions, removing the need to change in Brussels.
However, Eurostar Group is facing the prospect of being unable to serve Amsterdam from June 2024 to May 2025 due to planned rebuilding work at Amsterdam Central station.
Eurostar Group reports particularly strong demand from leisure travellers, of which more were carried in December 2022 that in both of the years immediately before the Covid-19 pandemic, despite industrial action.
Business travel bookings are currently at 80% of 2019 levels, which Eurostar Group describes as “encouraging” while noting that business travel has been slower to recover due an increase in virtual meetings and the relative caution of employers when encouraging staff to resume travelling for work.
“These results are encouraging, and as the backbone of sustainable travel in Europe, we are doing everything we can to grow our offer to meet demand,” says Eurostar Group CEO, Ms Gwendoline Cazenave. “We will continue striving to reach our target of carrying 30 million passengers by 2030.
“We have turned the page on the Covid crisis and are now moving towards a new chapter of building the new Eurostar Group, bringing Eurostar and Thalys together.
“This autumn, we will reveal our new rebranded website and a single loyalty programme, which will be the first visible effects of the merger for our customers.”