Eurostar scores higher sales with Ruby World Cup
Eurostar carryings rose by 3.6% to 2.23 million travellers in the peak summer three months between July and September.
Ticket revenues totalled £148.5 million - an increase of 13.8% driven both by increasing numbers of business passengers and by higher demand during the Rugby World Cup in France.
Eurostar estimates that it carried at least 125,000 passengers to and from rugby matches and ran 19 extra services during the tournament carrying 13,000 additional travellers.
Business travel remained very strong, with the volume of business sales rising by 12.9% over the same period last year.
The rise in passenger numbers is expected to be boosted by the announcement today of through fares from 68 UK towns and cities to the Continent.
Tickets go on sale from 14 November 14 with lowest fares range from £67-£92.
Eurostar saw 91.1% of trains arriving on time or early during the quarter.
Ticket sales in international markets outside the UK, France and Belgium grew by 14.2% against the same period in 2006.
Chief executive Richard Brown said: "Eurostar's continued growth in traveller numbers - especially in the crucial business sector - shows that growing environmental concern and a desire for a hassle-free travel experience are persuading more people to choose Eurostar rather than the airlines.
"These are the final set of results for a full quarter of Eurostar operations to and from Waterloo International. On 14 November we will launch services from our new London home at St Pancras International.
"Eurostar journeys will be quicker and, with the introduction of through fares to the Continent from 68 towns and cities across Britain, more accessible to millions more people living in the UK regions. We are confident that these changes will mean our traveller numbers continue to rise." By Phil Davies for Travel Mole Travel Mole website.