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Trainline slams brakes on costs as passenger numbers collapse after coronavirus lockdown

The digital train booking platform said it has cut monthly cash outflow to £8-9mln

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Trainline PLC (LON:TRN) said it has slashed costs after the total collapse of rail industry passenger numbers due to the coronavirus lockdown and was confident it can ride out “an extended downturn period”.

At the time of the FTSE 250 group's last update in mid-March, there was a simple optimism that UK demand has remained “more resilient”, before the lockdown arrived and train and coach passengers almost completely dried up.

With its staff all now working from home, "with minimal disruption" to the business, the tech firm has worked with rail and coach operators to help refund pre-existing bookings, a process that is expected to be fully completed by the end of May.

Preparing for its liquidity headroom to be roughly £150mln by this point, the digital train booking platform said it has now cut monthly cash outflow to £8-9mln.

This included furloughing some staff under the government scheme, halting marketing and other discretionary spending, freezing recruitment, deferring bonus payments and pay reviews for 2020, revising payment terms with some suppliers, and with 50% salary reduction taken by chief executive Clare Gilmartin and 20% for the rest of management. 

“Trainline is a resilient business and we believe that our prudent action now strengthens us for the long term, positioning us well to return to growth once travel restrictions lift,” Gilmartin said.

Quick facts: Trainline

Price: 515 GBX

LSE:TRN
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £24.03 m
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