Channel Tunnel operator deep in red as pandemic hits passenger numbers

AFP - [email protected] • 25 Feb, 2021 Updated Thu 25 Feb 2021 09:28 CEST
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French custom offciers watch the first vehicle entering the Eurotunnel terminal post Brexit, an Estonian lorry driver, on January 1, 2021, in Coquelles, northern France. - Britain on Thursday finally severed its turbulent half-century partnership with Europe, quitting the EU single market and customs union and going its own way four-and-a-half years after its shock vote to leave the bloc. Brexit, which has dominated politics on both sides of the Channel since 2016, became a reality as Big Ben struck 11:00 pm (2300 GMT) in London, just as most of mainland Europe ushered in 2021. (Photo by Lewis Joly / POOL / AFP)

The operator of the Channel Tunnel link between France and the UK has reported a 2020 net loss of €113 million due to the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit, but said it was confident in the future.


Getlink, formerly known as Eurotunnel, reported a 2019 net profit of €159 million.

Revenues were down 25 percent at €816 million last year, with Eurostar passenger services badly hit by the pandemic restrictions and the fallout from Brexit.

Operating profit -- the company's preferred measure -- plunged 41 percent to €328 million, an amount described as still "very substantial."

The company said it had not "burned through cash," and had also managed to reduce debt during the crisis.

CEO Yann Leriche said the company had put in a "solid" performance in exceptional circumstances caused by the pandemic and Brexit.

"We have no doubt that the rebound will be rapid as soon as restrictions are lifted and that the situation will improve, notably thanks to vaccination," he added.


The company did not make specific forecasts for 2021, citing a lack of visibility on the outlook.

Leriche noted that the British government's announcement on Monday that it would review travel restrictions on May 17th had sparked an immediate increase in bookings - although strict limits on travel to France remain.

The company said it would resume paying shareholders a dividend, "a signal" of its confidence in the future of the business.



AFP 2021/02/25 09:28

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execdrive 2021/02/25 11:19
Isn't this "news" at least two weeks old.

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