Eurotunnel parent company Getlink reported “robust revenue” and a “solid performance” in annual results for 2020 despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
Getlink reported a 24% fall in revenue year on year to €816 million, describing this as “robust”, and a 15% increase in yield “due to an increase in last-minute bookings and premium and flexible tickets” on Le Shuttle.
The group reported a net loss of €113 million, but an operating profit of €134 million – down 67% year on year.
Group chief executive Yann Leriche said: “Getlink delivered a solid operational and financial performance in an exceptional context marked by the Covid crisis and Brexit.”
He said the company ended the year “with a historic level of cash, confirming the group’s resilience”.
The Getlink performance stands in stark contrast to Eurostar which operates passenger trains through the Channel Tunnel and pays Getlink for access.
Eurostar warned in January that it is in a “critical” state and could run out of cash by the summer.
Getlink noted its “core business is the Eurotunnel segment which operates and directly markets its Shuttle Services and provides access on payment of a toll” for Eurostar and Rail Freight services.
Eurostar traffic collapsed from March last year, leaving annual passenger numbers down 77% year on year at 2.5 million.
French state rail operator SNCF operates and owns a controlling stake in Eurostar.
The UK government sold its 40% stake in Eurostar for £750 million in 2015 and continues to resist calls to join the French government in bailing out Eurostar.
Transport secretary Grant Shapps told MPs earlier this month: “Eurostar is a majority state-owned French company, with some Belgian and some French Canadian ownership.
“It’s not our company to rescue. It is majority owned by the French state. It’s a French issue.”
Shapps added: “Everyone wants a Eurostar service [to remain]. But the tunnel would not disappear.”
UK transport union the TSSA called again on the UK government to “pull out all the stops” to save Eurostar this week.
France vowed to “maintain this strategic link. . . based on our involvement in Eurostar” in January..
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