(Reuters) – Getlink, the operator of the Channel Tunnel, reported on Thursday a sharp increase in revenue in the first half of the year, driven by its ElecLink division, which allows electricity exchange between France and Britain.
Launched in May 2022, the ElecLink unit represented in the first six months of the year more than a third of the group’s total revenue, which amounted to 934 million euros, an increase of 64% compared to the first half of 2022.
“In February 2023, I announced a record year 2022 and said that the successor would also be very, very good. Today we are there, with a historic first half, the best of the group since its creation”, declared Yann Leriche, general manager of Getlink.
Amid global uncertainty about energy demand, ElecLink has increased electricity transmission capacity between the UK and France by 33%, according to an announcement in May. The device transported more than 6 TWh of electricity in its first year of life, equivalent to around 2% of the UK’s total energy consumption in 2022, according to figures from independent research firm Enerdata.
Excluding ElecLink, Getlink’s revenue growth reached 12.7%, the group said at a press conference.
Ebitda was 496 million euros in the period January-June, or 63% more than last year. The company’s net profit increased by 218% to 159 million euros.
Travel demand continued to grow in the first half of the year following the recovery in activity following the COVID-19 pandemic, despite inflation. Eurostar recorded 5 million passengers in the period, or 54% more than in the first half of 2022, while LeShuttle saw a 16% increase in users.
“For Eurostar, we have returned to pre-crisis levels (health) and there is no reason why it should not continue to grow,” Yann Leriche said.
Aviation disruptions could also benefit Getlink, according to its chief executive, who said many customers prefer to avoid flying to the UK from France because of the carbon footprint.
The company confirmed its expectations for the rest of the financial year. It wants to exceed an EBITDA of 910 million euros “and this despite an economic and social environment in the United Kingdom and in France which remains uncertain”.
(Reporting by Gaëlle Sheehan and Victor Goury-Laffont, Editing by Jean Terzian)
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