Eurostar hit by World Cup effect

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​The “World Cup effect” has ​hit passenger and revenue growth ​at​ Channel Tunnel high-speed train company Eurostar.

The company ​said that ​while ​passenger numbers rose ​two per cent​ to five million in the first half of 2014 and sales revenue ​rose 0.5​ per cent​ to £456​m, it has been hit in recent weeks by the​ ​“World Cup effect” which has ​seen households postpone​ ​spending on leisure travel until after the final match.

​In addition the late timing of Easter meant that many UK families took only on holiday when they might normally have booked two trips.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “While a number of factors in the second quarter of the year led to a dampening in demand, we are now beginning to see a more benign trading environment with encouraging signs of economic stability in France as well as the UK.

“These more favourable conditions have helped deliver strong growth in business travel across our markets.”

During the first half of the year, Eurostar saw stronger levels of business travel bookings with the volume of business passengers rising ​six per cent​ compared with the same period in 2013.

Over the first half of the year the number of international passengers rose ​seven per cent​ compared with the same period in 2013.

But the number of travellers originating in South America, including World Cup host nation Brazil, was substantially lower in the period April-June 2014.