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Trainline shares steam ahead on better sales outlook

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Online rail ticketing business Trainline has seen shares jump higher after it upped its sales outlook thanks to a recovery in demand for travel across Europe amid an influx of US tourists.

The group saw shares rise as much as 24% higher on Wednesday morning after it said net ticket sales jumped 16% in the four months to June 30 versus pre-Covid two-year comparisons.

It now expects full-year net ticket sales to rise by between 18% and 27% against two years ago, before the pandemic struck, which is set to push revenues 22% to 31% higher.

It said the rebound was being driven by a faster-than-expected pick-up in rail travel across Europe and a boost from tourism, in particular from America.

Jody Ford, chief executive of Trainline, said: “Not only is domestic rail travel rebounding at an impressive rate across Europe, but tourists are also returning strongly, with Americans leading the way.

“More and more people are recognising that travelling by train is better for the environment and the best way to travel cross-country and cross-border at speed.

“With an increasing number of train carriers offering high-speed services across the Continent, the appetite for train travel is set to increase.”

Analyst Ciaran Donnelly said the recent strong trading seen by Trainline points to “significant” earnings upgrades for the current financial year.

Trainline has until now made a slow recovery from the pandemic as ongoing restrictions in 2021 and the shift to working from home impacted demand.

It saw sales reach 89% of pre-Covid levels in the year to the end of February.

The group narrowed its losses significantly in the last financial year as customers returned to the railways after the worst of the pandemic subsided.

The business saw ticket sales to UK train users rise by 283%, hitting £1.8 billion, over the year.

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