PARIS (AFP) – The Eurostar high-speed train service said Thursday that its earnings performance last year was derailed by the terror attacks in Paris and Brussels.
Eurostar, the cross-channel service owned by the French national rail operator SNCF, said that it booked an underlying or operating loss of £25 million ($30 million, 28 million euros) in 2016, compared with a year-earlier profit of $34 million.
“The combination of difficult commercial conditions and a drop in demand resulted in the operating loss,” it said.
Eurostar described 2016 “as a difficult year, during which passenger numbers declined by four percent to 10 million in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Europe,” referring to the events in Paris in November 2015 and in Brussels in March 2016.
Revenues were down three percent at £794 million.
Nevertheless, Eurostar said it had observed signs of a pick-up in business at the end of last year “which are continuing into 2017”.
“After a strong rise in late bookings at the end of 2016, the group reported record passenger numbers in December and a solid start to the year,” it said.