Last year saw a third fewer passengers cross under the English Channel. That hurt the Channel Tunnel operator's revenues. France last week eased some restrictions for British travelers, so expect those rail cars to fill up.
The operator of the Channel Tunnel Getlink on Thursday reported a 6% drop in annual revenues, weighed down by the continued impact on passenger traffic of travel restrictions due to the coronavirus crisis.
The group, which operates the undersea railway tunnel that connects France with the U.K., posted revenue for the year ended December of 774.4 million euros ($878.87 million), against 827.1 million (recalculated) a year earlier.
The number of passengers crossing the Eurotunnel aboard Getlink’s shuttles was particularly hurt, falling 32% over the year, while truck traffic decreased by 6%.
The fourth quarter, however, showed signs of recovery as revenues rose 13% to 225.1 million euros.
“2021 was a year of contrasts,” Chief Executive Yann Leriche said in an earnings statement. He pointed out that “the appetite of customers” for Getlink’s services was proven with each easing of border crossing conditions.
Last week, France eased COVID-19 protocols for vaccinated travellers from Britain, dropping a requirement for proof of an essential reason for the trip and for obligatory self-isolation upon arrival.
($1 = 0.8811 euros)
(Reporting by Dagmarah Mackos; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)