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

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Trainline has smashed through the £5 billion barrier in ticket sales, marking a significant milestone as UK rail travel bounces back and European markets surge. The London-listed firm’s pre-tax profits soared to £48 million for the year ending February 29, thanks to fewer rail strikes and robust growth.

With a 22 percent increase in ticket sales year-on-year, Trainline’s success was largely fuelled by £3.5 billion worth of tickets sold in the UK alone. The overall British rail market also saw a resurgence, with passenger revenues climbing to an estimated £10.6 billion, up from £8.9 billion the previous year.

The company’s fortunes were further bolstered by impressive performances in Spain and Italy, where combined sales rocketed by 43 percent, signalling Trainline’s expanding footprint in these competitive international markets.

For the first time ever, Trainline’s international ticket sales have crossed the £1 billion threshold, underpinning the company’s ambitious expansion strategy in Spain and Italy, where it thrives amidst fierce rail operator competition.

Jody Ford, the CEO of Trainline, hailed the transformative impact of new carrier competition on European rail, stating: “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 has stated that there is still “considerable headroom for growth” in the UK, with tickets bought offline accounting for about £3 billion of total British ticket sales last year. The majority of these are believed to be short-distance and commute journeys.

The firm plans to continue refining its mobile app to better cater to commuters, partly by expanding its digital season ticket feature.

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

These initiatives have resulted in Trainline increasing its share of customers who are commuters to 23 percent, up from 10 percent before the pandemic.

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