Online rail and coach ticketing platform Trainline reports post-pandemic recovery

Online rail and coach ticketing platform Trainline reports post-pandemic recovery

Net ticket sales were up over two-fold to £2.5bn in the year to February

Online rail and coach ticketing platform Trainline achieved financial recovery in the year to February despite the impact of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and “subdued” business travel.

The company reported overall net ticket sales of £2.5 billion, within previously guided range of £2.4 billion-£2.8 billion. This was 222% higher year-on-year.

The Trainline Partner Solutions (TPS) arm saw net ticket sales rise from £75 million to £290 million year-on-year and 24% of the same period in 2020.

“While business travel remained subdued, net ticket sales stepped up 88% in H2 versus H1, and in Q3 reached 35% of the same period in FY2020,” Trainline said.

TPS revenue grew 26% year-on-year to £15 million, with increased net ticket sales offset by lower revenue from white label clients.

The Business Travel Association forged a partnership with Trainline earlier this month.

Total Trainline sales improved during the year as Covid restrictions eased, with levels in the third quarter at 86% of 2020 levels, the highest since the onset of the pandemic, before moderating to 75% in final three months given the impact of Omicron.

The recovery in net ticket sales over the year helped group revenue recover to £189 million from £67 million in the previous year.

Before Omicron, group net ticket sales in the third quarter of the firm’s financial year had recovered to 86% of the same period in the previous 12 months, the highest level since start of the pandemic.

Adjusted annual earnings [ebitda] are expected to be around the top end of previously guided range of £35 million-£40 million, according to the company.

Full-year financial results for the 12 months to February 28 are due to be issued on May 5.

Chief executive Jody Ford said: “I am pleased with our performance this year, which was in line with our expectations despite the short-term impact of Omicron in the fourth quarter.

“Playing a leading role in the wider industry recovery, we encouraged people back onto trains and increasingly towards digital ticketing.

“In the UK we ran brand-led leisure travel campaigns, launched new features for commuters and scaled our digital railcards.

“In Europe we embraced rail market liberalisation, making it easy for customers to benefit from the increased choice available.

“In France we became the only platform to offer all rail carriers following the addition of Trenitalia France, while in Italy we launched our first major national ad campaign, highlighting Trainline as having all the trains and all the fares in one app.”