Trainline Doubles Profit Amid Accelerating European Sales Despite Nationalisation Threat

Trainline has announced a remarkable surge in operating profit, exceeding 100 per cent growth last year, propelled by robust ticket sales, according to its latest annual results.

The company revealed a doubling of operating profit from £28 million in 2023 to £56 million in the 12 months leading up to 29 February.

Driven by strong European demand and reduced impact from UK rail strikes, new ticket sales surged by 22 per cent to £5.3 billion, up from £4.3 billion in 2023, contributing to a 21 per cent revenue growth to £397 million.

Trainline proudly claimed the title of Europe’s most downloaded rail app during this period, with notable success stories in Spain and Italy. Sales growth in these regions soared by 43 per cent collectively, with Spain witnessing a doubling of domestic ticket sales for the second consecutive year.

Jody Ford, Trainline’s chief executive, hailed the company’s role as the preferred aggregator both in the UK and internationally, highlighting its strong performance in rapidly liberalising markets such as Spain.

With the anticipation of heightened competition from new entrant carriers in Italy, France, and the UK in the near future, Trainline anticipates an era of unparalleled growth in rail travel.

In addition to its financial success, Trainline unveiled a new £75 million buyback programme following the completion of the existing one. Under the current £50 million programme, £38 million worth of shares have already been repurchased as of April 2024.

Looking ahead, Trainline forecasts year-on-year net ticket sales growth of 8 to 12 per cent in 2025, accompanied by revenue growth ranging from 7 to 11 per cent.

Despite its stellar performance, concerns linger among investors regarding the potential impact of Labour’s proposal to renationalise UK railways. However, analysts like Mark Crouch from eToro remain optimistic about Trainline’s resilience, viewing it as a testament to the efficiency and innovation fostered by the private sector.

Trainline’s shares have surged by 26 per cent over the past 12 months, underscoring investor confidence in its continued growth trajectory.

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