1. ITV Report

Eurozone crisis hits Eurostar

Eurostar hit by a slowdown in the number of business passengers Photo: Google Images

Eurozone crisis hits Eurostar with only 2 per cent growth so far this year.Eurostar has been hit by a slowdown in the number of business passengers using the service in the first six month of the year, the company just reported.

It blames the Eurozone crisis.

A trading statement said business travel, which was broadly flat in the first quarter of 2012, weakened in the second quarter as the number of public holidays and the eurozone crisis impacted on many business customers’ travel plans.

However the Jubilee and an increase in leisure passengers mean overall passenger numbers rose by 2% to 4.8 million from 4.7 million in 2011. Sales revenues were up by 1% to £425 million in 2012 from £421 million in the same period last year.

Nicolas Petrovic, Chief Executive of Eurostar, said:“We have delivered a resilient performance in the first half of the year despite the difficult economic climate. Leisure bookings have continued to grow and we have seen good take-up for travel to London over the summer period. During the Queen’s Jubilee we had one of our busiest weekends on record and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from across Europe to enjoy all the attractions that London has to offer for the Games”.

“Whilst leisure sales have held up over the last six months, there is no doubt that corporate clients and business travellers, particularly in the financial services industry, are feeling the squeeze and are cutting back on their travel budgets as they adapt to the economic environment. The combination of economic pressures and the London 2012 Games has meant that we are seeing different travel patterns this year. The traditional European summer close-down for business is kicking in earlier as all eyes turn to the Olympic celebrations in London.”