Trainline passes £5 billion ticket sales amid UK rail travel recovery

The London-listed company’s pre-tax profit more than doubled to £48 million in the year ending February 29, buoyed by an easing in rail strikes, which fell to 25 days from 30 in the previous 12 months.

Trainline’s ticket sales grew 22% year-on-year, mainly driven by £3.5 billion in UK tickets. The overall British rail market recovered to an estimated £10.6 billion in passenger revenues during the reporting period, up from £8.9 billion in the prior year.

The bumper year was further boosted by sales across Spain and Italy, which grew a combined 43%, as Trainline further penetrated both international markets.

On the back of its European growth, Trainline also surpassed £1 billion in international ticket sales for the first time.

The company has pursued an aggressive growth plan in both countries in recent years, where rail operator competition is stronger than in its other markets such as France and Germany, leading to more demand for its model as a price aggregator.

Britain saw five fewer days of rail strikes in the year ending February 29 than the previous 12 months (James Manning/PA Archive)

Jody Ford, CEO of Trainline, said: “New entrant carrier competition is revolutionising rail in Europe as more customers benefit from greater choice, lower prices and the opportunity to choose greener travel.

“We are becoming the aggregator of choice in the UK and internationally and are delivering strong growth, particularly in those markets liberalising fastest such as Spain.”

Trainline said there remains “considerable headroom for growth” in the UK, with tickets bought offline representing about £3 billion of total British ticket sales last year. Most of those are estimated to be short-distance and commute journeys.

The company said it will continue to tailor its mobile app to better serve commuters, in part by expanding its digital season ticket feature.

Trainline has also launched a “best price guarantee” feature where it will refund the difference if a customer finds a cheaper same-day ticket elsewhere.

The moves have seen Trainline grow its share of customers who are commuters to 23%, up from 10% pre-pandemic.

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