- Investors swoop after ticketing platform hikes growth expectations

- Trainline shares have more than doubled since March

- National Rail strike threat could disrupt key summer holiday season

Rail and coach travel ticketing platform Trainline (TRN) has hiked guidance for the year to February 2023 after seeing a faster-than-expected recovery in rail passenger volumes in the UK and across Europe, partly helped by an influx of US visitors.

Yet facing another national rail strike, Trainline’s 22% share price jump in response to today’s update seems premature, especially since the stock has already more than doubled since March.

If threatened train strikes do happen, there could be more than 90% of train services across Britain cancelled later this summer in a first national walkout by drivers since 1995.

Results of a nationwide strike ballot will come through over the next couple of weeks and if passed, it could cause huge disruption right through the key summer months for Trainline.

Interestingly, the company made no comment on potential driver strikes in today’s update, despite the company earning 91% of its gross profit last year in the UK.

What investors do know is that things have improved significantly for Trainline over the first four months of its financial year.

The company expects to report net ticket sales growth of 18% to 27%, or £4.4 billion to £4.7 billion, implying revenue growth of 22% to 31%. That would put Trainline on track for adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) £84 million to £99 million on revenues of between £318 million to £342 million.

HEFTY 2022/23 GUIDANCE UPGRADE

Previous guidance had been aimed at ticket sales of £3.8 billion to £4.2 billion, £280 million to £310 million of revenue and adjusted EBITDA of £70 million to £75 million.

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

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

Analysts at Megabuyte were on hand to remind investors that Trainline’s future remains clouded by plans by the UK Government to launch a rival, state-run ticketing app from the newly formed Great British Railways, although their take on the absence of strike commentary was optimistic.

‘The update didn't mention the current labour unrest on UK railways, suggesting low-to-no financial impact,’ said Megabuyte’s Rob Warensjo.

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Issue Date: 06 Jul 2022