(Reuters) – Channel tunnel operator Getlink on Thursday reported a sharp increase in sales volume in the first half, driven by its ElecLink subsidiary that allows electricity exchanges between France and the United Kingdom.
The ElecLink unit, which was launched in May 2022, during the first six months of the year accounted for more than a third of the group’s total revenue, which amounted to 934 million euros, up 64% compared to the first half of 2022.
“In February 2023, I announced a record year 2022 and said that the sequel would also be very, very good. Today we are there, with the historic first half, the best of the group since its inception,” stated Jan Lerich, General Manager of Getlink.
Amid global uncertainty about energy needs, ElecLink has increased electricity transmission capacity between the UK and France by 33%, according to an announcement in May. The unit transmitted more than 6 TWh of electricity in the first year of its existence, equivalent to around 2% of all UK 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 valued at €496m over the January-June period, or an increase of 63% over last year. The company’s net profit jumped 218% to 159 million euros.
Travel demand continued to grow in the first half of the year, following a pickup in activity following the COVID-19 pandemic, despite inflation. Eurostar logged 5 million passengers during the period, or 54% more than in the first half of 2022, while LeShuttle saw a 16% increase in its users.
“For Eurostar, we are back to the pre-crisis (health) level, and there is no reason why it should not continue to grow,” Jan Lerich said.
Air travel disruptions could also benefit Getlink, according to its chief executive, who said many customers would prefer to avoid flying to Britain from France because of the carbon footprint.
The company confirmed its outlook for the remainder of the fiscal year. It wants to surpass Ebitda’s €910 million, “despite the still uncertain economic and social environment in the UK and France”.
(Reporting by Gaëlle Sheehan and Victor Goury-Laffont; Editing by Jan Terzian)
“Food trailblazer. Passionate troublemaker. Coffee fanatic. General analyst. Certified creator. Lifelong music expert. Alcohol specialist.”