Eurotunnel achieved a record year in 2016 with increased profit and revenue despite the fall-out from terrorist attacks on the continent.
The Channel Tunnel operator saw pre-tax profits almost double from €80 million in 2015 to €154 million last year.
This came as revenue rose by 4% to more than €1 billion with the help of growth in freight traffic and passenger shuttles.
A rise of 2% year-on-year to 2.6 million vehicles transported by Eurotunnel Le Shuttle was the highest level of traffic achieved since 2000.
However, passengers using the Eurostar high speed rail service declined by 4% to 10 million.
Eurotunnel said: “The number of Eurostar passengers using the tunnel was badly affected by the succession of terrorist attacks in Paris, Brussels and Nice and fell by 4% in 2016 for the year as a whole.
“Nevertheless, the trend reversed in the last quarter with growth of 2%, supported by a record December – up 9% compared to December 2015.
Le Shuttle outperformed the cross-Channel market which contracted by 2% “in difficult market conditions following the terrorist attacks which have led to a reduction in tourism in France,” Eurotunnel said.
Passenger Shuttle car market share increased to 55% in 2016, compared to 53% in 2015.
“The short straits cross-Channel coach market, which remains affected by the terrorist attacks and the security situation in Europe, contracted by approximately 9% compared to 2015. With traffic down by 8%, the fixed link’s share of the coach market increased slightly to 38.1%,” Eurotunnel added.
The company upgraded its projected earnings [EBITDA] to €530 million for this year and €560 million for 2018.
Eurotunnel chairman Jacques Gounon said: “201 was the best year in our history. Our thre core businesss outperformed their sector – the fixed link is a unique asset in the infrastructure world.
“Our outlook is very good and we are announcing new and improved objectives for 2017 and 2018.”
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