27 June 2023

Eurostar Group returns to growth and prepares for the future

27th June 2023, London, UK: Eurostar Group, the high-speed rail service connecting the UK with Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands, today announces its 2022 turnover of €1,532 million. This is 2.5 times higher than in 2021.    

The company's EBITDA set a record at €332 million, a remarkable result in a context of inflation and social unrest in UK, Belgium, and France.   
In terms of traffic, the Group carried 14.8 million passengers in 2022: 8.3 million for Eurostar and 6.5 million for Thalys. Following a severe Covid downturn in early 2022, it took the two businesses just 3 months to recover from 30% to 80% in passenger volume.  

" The demand for more  sustainable international transport in Europe has come true. The increasing awareness of sustainable travel has accelerated, and we are seeing the benefits of that. The growth of customers returning to high-speed travel since restrictions were lifted has been  reflected in our 2022 results." explains Gwendoline Cazenave, CEO of Eurostar Group.     

In 2022, a strong cash performance  has enabled Eurostar to anticipate debt repayment and invest in the customer journey. Strong cash generation has enabled Eurostar Group to repay €127m of debt and at the end of December 2022, total debt stood at €964m.  

"We have turned the page on the COVID crisis and are now moving towards a new chapter of building the new Eurostar Group, bringing Eurostar and Thalys together”, says Gwendoline Cazenave.

“These results are encouraging, and as the  backbone of sustainable travel in Europe, we are doing everything we can to grow our offer to meet  demand. We will continue striving to reach our target of carrying 30 million passengers by 2030".  

Dynamic routes     

The most growth on Eurostar Group routes is between London and the Netherlands and between Paris and Amsterdam.      

Particularly on the London-Netherlands route, volume has more than doubled compared to the pre-Pandemic period. This route has been boosted by the introduction of a direct return service in October 2020, enabling passengers to travel from London to Amsterdam without changing trains in Brussels.    

Eurostar Group has seen particularly strong demand from leisure travellers, of which we carried more in December-22 (despite strikes) than in each of the two years pre-pandemic. For 2023, business travel bookings are currently at 80% of 2019 levels which is encouraging but as a whole , Eurostar Group routes are affected by a slower recovery of business travel due to an increase in virtual meetings, combined with a relative caution from companies to encourage staff to return to travel.

"We have got the business back on track, even though we still have room for improvement to achieve our ambitions. Last January, we unveiled the new identity of the Eurostar brand. This autumn, we will reveal our new brand  website, process, and a single loyalty programme, which will be the first visible effects of the merger for our customers", concludes Gwendoline Cazenave.  
About Eurostar Group    

Eurostar Group is owned by SNCF Voyages Développement (55.75%), a subsidiary of SNCF Voyageurs, CDPQ (19.31%), SNCB (18.50%) and funds managed by Federated Hermes Infrastructure (6.44%).    

The holding company is based in Brussels and holds 100% of the shares in Eurostar International Limited (Eurostar) and THI Factory SA (Thalys), which remain fully-fledged railway companies with their head offices in London and Brussels respectively.    

The ambition is to offer an attractive alternative to road and air transport and to accelerate the modal shift from 19 million passengers carried in 2019 to 30 million in 10 years.    

Eurostar Group offers the largest international high-speed network in Western Europe and has set itself the goal of deploying an ambitious environmental policy over the next few years.    

The carbon footprint of one flight is on average the same as 13 Eurostar journeys 
Fleet: 51 trains (25 Eurostar, 26 Thalys)    

Fastest journey times:     

  • London - Brussels: 02h00    
  • London - Paris: 02h15    
  • London - Lille: 01h30    
  • London-Rotterdam is 03h13    
  • London - Amsterdam: 03h52
  • Paris-Brussels: 01h22
  • Paris-Amsterdam: 03h19
  • Paris-Cologne: 03h20
  • Brussels-Amsterdam: 01h51
  • Brussels - Cologne: 01h47