The health crisis and Brexit did not necessarily mix well for the Getlink group, which saw its consolidated financial results decline in 2020. For all that, they were notably buoyed by the volume of trucks transported through the Pas-de-Calais Strait, linked to an increase in demand for essential goods.
"In 2020, thanks to rigorous management and the strong involvement of our teams, Getlink achieved a solid operational and financial performance in an exceptional context marked by the health crisis and Brexit.
Our collective ability to adapt to this new economic environment and to continue to provide a vital service to our customers has enabled us to close this year with a historic level of cash," summarized Yann Leriche, Getlink's Chief Executive Officer.
Despite consolidated revenues down 24% (€816 million), consolidated Ebitda down 41% (€328 million) and operating income down 67% (€134 million), the group nevertheless managed to maintain its free cash flow at €629 million, up €104 million from the previous year.
Rising demand for essential goods
Claiming a market share of 70.1% for the car activity via its passenger shuttles and 39.5% for the truck segment, its Eurotunnel branch transported 1.39 million passenger vehicles (+46%) and 1.45 million trucks (+9%) in the Strait.
The volume of trucks transported was notably marked by an increase in demand for essential goods and a return to industry-related traffic at the end of the first lockdown. For its part, Eurostar ran 1,736 freight trains in 2020 compared with 2,144 in 2019, a 19% drop.
Ebitda up 17% for Europorte
For its part, its subsidiary Europorte recorded a 2% drop in revenues (123 million euros) but saw its Ebitda climb by 17% (28 million euros). Finally, its operating costs fell from €102 million in 2019 to €95 million last year, representing a 7% decrease.
While from an operational standpoint, the group plans to continue implementing its rolling stock and rail infrastructure renovation program, it remains cautious about its economic forecasts.
"In the absence of visibility on upcoming government decisions regarding the health crisis and travel restrictions, we would like to postpone the announcement of a financial trajectory for 2021."