A recovery in demand for business travel helped boost revenue and operating profit for Eurostar last year.

Revenues from ticket sales rose 7% to £857 million, with passenger numbers reaching a record of more than 10 million for the first time in its 20-year history.

The operating profit was up 4% to £54 million while business sales revenues rose 6.2% year on year.

Eurostar chief executive Nicolas Petrovic said the cross-channel high-speed passenger rail company was feeling the effects of economic recovery.

“After a period of economic uncertainty we are now starting to see more confidence in the business market,” he said.

“In comparison with this time last year when the overriding sentiment was still very cautious there are more encouraging trends and in some sectors there is clearly a greater appetite to invest and look for business.”

Eurostar said the increase pointed towards growing demand for services from business travellers, particularly those based in the UK where the recovery “has a stronger foothold”.