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Travel industry news

23 Jul 2019

BY James Chapple

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TRFBLI

Channel Tunnel operator warns of no-deal Brexit headwinds

Channel Tunnel operator Getlink has warned a now “likely” no-deal Brexit could wipe €15 million off its annual earnings.

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Channel Tunnel operator warns of no-deal Brexit headwinds

Posting its half-year results on Tuesday (23 July) for the six months to 30 June, Getlink said the group is forecasting Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) of €575 million in the event of ministers striking a Brexit deal, and €560 million in a no-deal scenario.


“As the absence of an agreement on Brexit on 31 October is becoming very likely, the reference scenario for 2019 is now the ‘no-deal’ one,” said Getlink.


The company revealed H1 operating expenses increased €16 million, including €3 million in one-off Brexit preparation costs.


In addition, the company said it has invested €15 million installing new customs and e-gate infrastructure ahead of the initial 29 March Brexit date.


Getlink said Brexit uncertainties had also hit passenger carryings, with the company reporting a 2% decrease in cars using its passenger shuttles to about 1.4 million.


Eurostar passenger numbers, though, increased 2% to just shy of 5.3 million during H1, despite industrial action by French customs officers.


H1 Ebitda, meanwhile, fell 2% to £255 million, H1 revenue increased 2% to €523 million.


Chairman and chief executive Jacques Gounon said: “In the first half of the year, despite the jolts resulting from the political uncertainties of Brexit, the group has once again demonstrated the resilience of its business model with revenue growth for the tenth time in a row.


“Without the recent strike by French customs officers, the Group’s Ebitda would also have increased. The group remains confident in its ability to manage the next stages of Brexit and confirms the dividend growth policy.”


The group added the short-term uncertainty around Brexit had not dented its longer-term confidence, with Getlink still expecting to post Ebitda in excess of €735 million by 2022.

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