Eurostar on Monday reported that passenger numbers rose 5 percent in the first quarter compared to a year ago, despite its highly publicized multiple-train breakdown in the Channel Tunnel in December.

The company, which operates trains from London to Paris and Brussels, said it carried 2 million passengers in the first quarter, up from 1.9 million a year earlier.

Sales rose 6 percent to 178 million pounds ($275 million).

On the evening of December 18, five trains broke down in the Channel Tunnel, the only land link between Britain and the European continent, delaying some 2,000 travellers. Service was subsequently suspended for three days.

Eurostar said in February that it planned to spend euro30 million ($41 million) to deal with the underlying problems, including euro12 million already earmarked for new communications systems in the tunnel.

Keywords: Sales