Trainline shares (LON: TRN) are down almost 5% as the group reveals 81% slump in ticket sales.

As commuters stayed at home and holidays were canceled, the impact of the pandemic hit Trainline and led to £358m in the six months to August 31.

Trainline recorded a £31m turnover in revenue, which is just 24% of its revenue in the same period in 2019.

As lockdown eases, ticket sales are growing. Despite this, business tickets remain just 4% of 2019’s sales.

Clare Gilmartin, chief executive, of the group said:  “By acting quickly and remaining agile, we continue to successfully navigate through the significant disruption Covid-19 has caused to the rail and coach industry.

“We have rapidly processed unprecedented levels of customer refunds, reduced costs and ensured we have enough liquidity to operate for the foreseeable future.

“I’m pleased to now see the industry recovering, particularly in our International markets, as well as a faster shift to online reservation and digital ticketing, as anticipated, given the increased customer need for touchless travel,” he added.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, commented on the news: “The only route to growth for Trainline is to gain a greater share of the number of tickets sold.

“However, it feels like there is a natural limit here. Booking in advance makes sense when it can result in big savings on a longer journey which would typically see a traveller make plans in advance. But for short, one-off trips there’s little point as it would only make them less flexible.”

Amid the pandemic and social distancing measures, the group has introduced ‘crowd alerts’, to allow passengers to choose quieter trains.

During mid-morning Trainline shares (LON: TRN) were trading -5.46% at 384,60 (1112GMT).