Trainline swings to profit in first half as ticket sales double

Trainline swings to profit after ticket sales on its platform double as group focuses on cost-cutting offers

  • Passenger levels across Britain at 85% of pre-Covid levels in August
  • UK net ticket sales doubled to £1.4bn in its first half
  • Company held onto its improved full-year outlook but shares down 3% 

Trainline swung back to profit in its first half after seeing a strong rebound in demand for travel after the pandemic. 

The London-based rail and coach tickets platform saw sales in the UK double year-on-year to £1.4billion in the six months to the end of August.

This reflected ‘the continued recovery in passenger volume’ across Britain, the group said, having soared back to around 85 per cent of pre-Covid levels in August.

Trainline said demand for rail tickets could suffer less given it is less exposed to inflation

Trainline said demand for rail tickets could suffer less given it is less exposed to inflation

Revenues more than doubled to £165million, from £78million a year ago, and pre-tax profit came in at £13.6million, reversing a loss of over £10million in the first half of 2021.

While it still expects the cost-of-living crisis to have an impact on demand for travel, Trainline said rail could suffer less given it is seeing lower inflation, and held onto its improved annual guidance for the next financial year 2023.

It expects net ticket sales to grow by 18 to 27 per cent compared to 2020, with revenue growth of between 22 and 31 per cent. 

‘The cost of living crisis is expected to impact consumer-facing businesses across Europe, with pressure on discretionary spend,’ it told investors today.

‘However, our research suggests that transport could perform better than other sectors and that rail could prove more resilient than other modes of travel, in part given it is experiencing lower rates of inflation.’

The company said it was doing well abroad too, tripling the number of its app users in Italy thanks to a marketing campaign launched last year, while sales to US inbound customers were up 89 per cent.

Chief executive, Jody Ford, said Trainline would continue to focus on its money-saving features, such as SplitSave, as well as digital railcards during the cost of living crisis.

‘We delivered strong growth in the first half of the year as we supported rail industry recovery,’ he said.

‘Helping customers save money continues to be an important focus, through dedicated features such as SplitSave, digital railcards and now digital season tickets too.’

Trainline shares fell 3 per cent to 330.40p in afternoon trading on Thursday, but they remain around 10 per cent higher than a year ago.

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