Eurostar says adverse weather suppressed demand at the start of the year, but growth accelerated in the second quarter with passenger numbers climbing 4%, compared with the corresponding period in 2012.

Leisure sales revenue grew by around 8% compared with the first half of 2012, which Eurostar attributes to the introduction of new services, such as the ski services from London to the Swiss Alps operated jointly with TGV Lyria. A trial London – Aix-en-Provence service, which ran for eight weeks between May 4 and June 29 was also deemed a success, with load factors exceeding 90%. Eurostar plans to introduce year-round services to southern France next year.

Bookings from outside the European Union also continue to rise, with a 17% year-on-year increase in the first half of the year, while business travel increased by 3%.