Eurostar passenger numbers up by 2%

Eurostar Eurostar has carried 145 million passengers since it began services in 1994

Cross-channel train operator Eurostar says passenger numbers rose by 2% in the first half of 2014 to five million from 4.9 million a year earlier.

Meanwhile, sales revenues were up by 0.5% to £456m from £453m.

But it said leisure travel demand had been hit during the second quarter of the year by "the convergence" of the UK's Easter and May holidays.

Other factors were a drop in demand for holidays in northern Europe and people staying at home to watch the World Cup.

Business passenger bookings were up by 6% on the same six months in 2013.

"Whilst a number of factors in the second quarter of the year lead to a dampening in demand, we are now beginning to see a more benign trading environment with encouraging signs of economic stability in France as well as the UK," said chief executive Nicolas Petrovic.

"These more favourable conditions have helped deliver strong growth in business travel across our markets."

Since 1994, Eurostar has carried more than 145 million passengers.

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