Profits at Eurotunnel tripled last year on the back of record passenger numbers.

Net profit came in at €101 million against €32 million in 2012.

Sales rose by 12% to top €1 billion for the first as 10 million passengers used the Channel Tunnel.

The company set a €500 million earnings target for 2015 when it expects to pay tax on its profits for the first time.

Eurotunnel’s Shuttle Services carried 2.5 million passenger vehicles and 1.4 million trucks.

Eurostar broke through the barrier of 10 million passengers and volumes could potentially reach 14 million passengers by 2020, according to a report commissioned by the Eurotunnel Group,

The MyFerryLink Dover-Calais service made a loss of €22 million on revenues of €74 million against €7 million in revenues in its four and a half months of operation in 2012.

“The results for MyFerryLink in 2013 – 316,811 cars and 326,274 freight units transported – show the need for a new maritime option for crossing the Channel,” Eurotunnel said.

The group said the outlook remains positive, led by the upturn in the UK economy.

“Markets could, this year, see growth as strong as that experienced in 2013, with the British public making increasing numbers of short breaks to the Continent via Le Shuttle.”

Chairman and chief executive Jacques Gounon said: “In 2013, the Eurotunnel Group recorded another record year despite the highly competitive environment.

“In this year, the 20th anniversary of the Channel Tunnel, the group has set itself new targets for the creation of value, with an objective for EBITDA of more than €500 million in 2015.”