Eurotunnel confirms targets despite 1H loss

22nd July 2014, Comments 0 comments

Eurotunnel on Tuesday said it expects to meet its financial targets over the next two years despite reporting a net loss in the first half due to weak results from its ferry division.

The Eurostar operator reported a loss of 11 million euros ($15 million) in the first six months of 2014, dragged down by a 14 million euro loss in its troubled MyFerryLink unit.

But chief executive Jacques Gounon said the group still expects to post a full-year profit as activity picks up in the second half of the year, when people tend to take more cross-Channel holidays.

This year the group still expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) to hit 460 million euros, rising to 500 million euros in 2015, he told a press conference.

In the first half, Eurostar's Ebitda rose 8.5 percent to 216 million euros.

Group first-half revenue rose nearly 10 percent to 559 million euros, boosted by its Channel Tunnel operations, which carries Eurostar high-speed trains between Paris, Brussels and London.

Despite disruptions from a strike in France's SNCF train operator, passenger numbers broke 5 million for the first time, the company said in a statement.

"The fall in profitability between 2013 and the first half of this quarter is largely due to strikes at SNCF, which blocked traffic in France for 15 days," said Eurostar.

The loss-making MyFerryLink ferry service, which was launched in 2012, also posted a 30 percent rise in revenue over the period.

But the Gounon said he expects the service to shut before the end of the year after Britain's competition authority confirmed in June that it will ban cross-Channel routes from Dover.

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© 2014 AFP

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