Belfast Telegraph

Eurostar suffers £25m loss as passenger numbers drop after terror attacks

Channel tunnel operator Eurostar has suffered a £25 million full-year loss as passenger numbers dropped following a string of terror attacks in Europe last year.

Eurostar reported a 4% drop in passenger numbers from 10.4 million in 2015 to 10 million last year, a fall which the company said came "in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Europe".

It resulted in a 3% drop in full-year sales revenue to £794 million, with lower demand contributing to a £25 million loss for 2016.

However, Eurostar has since seen "resurgence" in US demand, with American passenger numbers up 17% compared with a year earlier.

Overall, non-European traveller numbers jumped 18%, while the number of business travellers in the UK rose 4%.

It added that sales revenue for the first 10 weeks of 2017 was up 12%, extending the year-end surge that resulted in its busiest December on record.

It is now on track to introduce 17 new e320 trains over the next 18 months, and outlined plans to refurbish its existing fleet.

Chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: "Despite the difficult trading environment last year, we continued to make major investments in new trains, our stations and our overall service.

"With the return of travellers from the US and business travel on the increase, the market is now rebounding strongly and we are optimistic about the growth prospects for the year."