Eurostar posts rising sales, looks to London Olympics boost

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Cross-Channel train operator Eurostar on Tuesday posted rising third-quarter revenues, despite "tough" conditions, and predicted keen demand as a result of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The company, which operates trains through the Channel tunnel connecting Britain with France, said in a statement that revenue gained seven percent to £197 million (225 million euros, $310 million) in the three months to September.

Passenger numbers increased by one percent to 7.3 million people in the nine months to the end of September, boosted by business travellers.

"Despite the global economic backdrop, London and Europe continues to be a big draw for international travellers," the group said in a results statement.

"With London 2012 now less than a year away, Eurostar anticipates increased interest in the UK as a destination as the world's focus turns to the Games next year."

However, Eurostar added that it remained cautious as a result of the fragile economic outlook.

"We have delivered a solid performance during both the third quarter and the year as a whole although the tough trading environment across Europe demands a cautious watching brief," said chief executive Nicolas Petrovic.

"Since the beginning of the year we have seen growth in both our sales revenues and passenger numbers reinforcing our popularity with regular and new travellers alike."

The London Olympics take place between July and August next year.

© 2011 AFP

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