A revival in overseas travellers to Europe helped keep Eurostar revenues on track in the first quarter of the year.

Passenger numbers were up by 2% year-on-year to 2.17 million as revenues increased by 15% to £232 million.

The performance was underpinned by a strong performance in the business travel and overseas markets, the high speed Channel Tunnel passenger train operator said.

The number of US travellers carried rose by 13%, those from the rest of the world by 18% and UK business travellers by 9%.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said: “The last quarter has been marked by a resurgence in the number of overseas travellers coming to Europe, buoyed up in part by the favourable exchange rates.

“With our new-state-of-the-art trains offering increased capacity, we are well-placed to take advantage of the growth in visitors coming to our destinations.”

The business travel sector was described as “robust” with the overall volume of business travellers up by 6% in the first three months of the year.

“This trend is particularly true of the UK, where the volume of business passengers has risen by 9% year-on-year in the first quarter,” the company said.

“The combination of wi-fi connectivity, productive working time onboard and a new business lounge in Paris, is reinforcing the convenience and ease of high speed rail for the business traveller.”

Eurostar is pledging a “step-change” in the travel experience between London and Brussels from the end of this month with the introduction of new e320 trains on the route.

“The introduction of the e320 on the Brussels route and the upgrading of the Eurostar space in Brussels-Midi station are the latest in a series of investments that Eurostar is making in its trains, its stations and its service,” the company said.

Eurostar plans to complete the introduction of 17 new e320 trains and the refurbishment of its original fleet over the next 18 months.