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Channel Tunnel operator Eurotunnel sees earnings drop 52% for first 6 months of 2020

The financial impact of the pandemic on cross-Channel operator Eurotunnel has seen revenues plunge by millions of pounds.

In its half-year results published today, its parent company Getlink said Eurotunnel's EBITDA (estimated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) plunged by 52% to €123million (£112m).

Eurotunnel has been hit hard by the travel restrictions
Eurotunnel has been hit hard by the travel restrictions

Revenues tumbled by 32% to €311m (£283m).

The company, which operates the high-speed passenger and freight service from the terminal at Cheriton to Coquelles in France, and maintains the under-sea route used by the likes of Eurostar, was hit hard by the lockdown and travel restrictions which decimated passenger numbers.

However, it maintained an operation throughout the worst of the crisis, allowing essential supplies to continue to pass between the UK and mainland Europe.

Between April and June it saw Eurostar services slashed by 98%, car traffic plunge by 80% and trucks down 25%.

Jacques Gounon, chairman of Getlink, said: "In the first half of this year, the group immediately reacted to deal with the Covid-19 crisis by taking all appropriate measures to protect the health of our teams and our customers.

Empty lanes tell the story of reduced use of the popular cross-Channel service as a result of the pandemic
Empty lanes tell the story of reduced use of the popular cross-Channel service as a result of the pandemic

"This made it possible to operate our services without interruption, particularly for key sectors of the economy, and to preserve our cash."

Yann Leriche, the group's new CEO, added: “I arrive at a time when we will have to be attentive to our immediate operational decisions whilst adapting the business to a changing world. This is a project that we shall pursue with the group’s employees for the benefit of our customers and our shareholders.”

The impact of travel restrictions has seen cuts at ferry operators DFDS and P&O as well as travel firms such as Saga and Holiday Extras.

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