Eurostar reports turnover up in 2009 despite challenges
The Eurostar train service said Wednesday its turnover edged up last year, despite the economic downturn and a high-profile breakdown which stranded hundreds of passengers in the Channel Tunnel.London - The Eurostar train service said Wednesday its turnover edged up last year, despite the economic downturn and a high-profile breakdown which stranded hundreds of passengers in the Channel Tunnel.
The turnover at the railway service, which links Britain, France and Belgium, rose 1.7 percent in 2009 compared to the previous year, the company said in a statement.
It hit GBP 675.5 million (EUR 774 million) last year, said Eurostar.
Passenger numbers also rose to 9.2 million people, an increase of 1.2 percent, according to the statement.
Eurostar said the economic downturn hit the number of business travellers using the rail service in the first half of the year, but this began to pick up in the final six months of 2009.
The company pointed out the results included the weekend of 18 and 19 December, when more than 2,000 people were trapped for hours overnight in the Channel Tunnel after trains stopped working in a breakdown blamed on the cold weather.
The breakdown and disruption were a PR disaster for Eurostar, both because people trapped in the tunnel blasted the company's response to the crisis, and because it affected traffic in the hugely busy pre-Christmas period.