Business behind Eurostar record

Eurostar enjoyed a bumper year in 2006 with record passenger numbers, and revenues passing the £500m mark for the first time. Sales rose by 11.7% from £463.8 million to £518.3 million, with the operator claiming it was poaching passengers from airlines. Some 7.85 million people travelled by Eurostar in 2006, up 5.4 % on 2005. Leisure traveller numbers rose by 4.5%, while the largest increase was in business travel sector, which grew by 17%, generating an 18% increase in business sales revenue. The company also cited the success of last year’s marketing campaigns as major sales drivers, with Eurostar’s partnership with the film release of the 'The Da Vinci Code', quoted as being “largely responsible for a 10.6% increase in international sales”. “I am delighted at the strong growth in the number of business travellers, who are discovering the punctuality and productivity advantages that Eurostar offers compared with the experience of flying,” said chief executive Richard Brown. “Many more travellers are being attracted by the environmental benefits of using high-speed rail instead of short-haul air.”

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