Eurostar, the high-speed rail service between the UK and mainland Europe, announced a sharp drop in passenger numbers in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks in November.
Annual underlying operating profits for 2015 were £34m, down from £55m in 2014.
The company said the strength of sterling reduced actual rates of sales revenue to £821m, down from £867m the previous year.
Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said, “After a challenging end to 2015, trading is picking up and the outlook for the summer is positive. With our new state-of-the-art trains and highly competitive fares to a range of destinations, we expect this trend to gather momentum over the coming months.”
Following the introduction of eight e320 trains on the London-Paris route, passengers can enjoy a complete transformation of their travel experience as Eurostar unveils its new on-board entertainment service and wifi connectivity.
By connecting their mobile phone or tablet to the free on-board wifi, customers can unlock more than 300 hours of popular TV shows and movies ranging from the much acclaimed Sherlock series to the King’s Speech. With news, games, a special children’s zone and a live moving location map, the system sets a new benchmark for on-board entertainment in short haul travel.
Carrying 900 passengers as opposed to 750 on the original Eurostar trains, the e320 trains boost capacity by 20%. Equipped with interiors created by world-renowned Italian car designers, Pininfarina, the e320 brings a whole range of exciting new features including ergonomically designed reclining seats in all classes of service and digital screens featuring up-to-date journey information in each carriage.
With increased seat capacity on the e320, Eurostar is now offering its most competitive fares ever. The combination of a lead-in price of £29/€39 one way to Paris/Brussels/Lille and fares from £37 to hundreds of destinations across France, Holland and Belgium, makes Eurostar the fastest, easiest and cheapest way to travel between the UK and mainland Europe.