Channel Tunnel operator deep in red as pandemic hits passenger numbers

Channel Tunnel operator deep in red as pandemic hits passenger numbers
The Channel Tunnel has seen a big fall on apssengers numbers due to the pandemic and Brexit. Photo: 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.


Member comments

The Local is not responsible for content posted by users.

Become a Member to leave a comment.Or login here.