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France's Getlink reports flat revenue as Brexit uncertainties weigh

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France's Getlink reports flat revenue as Brexit uncertainties weigh
The logo of Channel tunnel operator Getlink, formerly known as Eurotunnel, is seen during the company's 2018 annual results presentation in Paris, France, February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/Files   -   Copyright  CHARLES PLATIAU(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Getlink’s <GETP.PA> third-quarter revenue was flat year-on-year, weighed down by Brexit uncertainties and decreasing British consumer confidence, the Channel tunnel operator said on Wednesday.

Revenues for the July-September period came in at 305.1 million euros ($339.5 million), while those for the first nine months of the year grew just 1% to 828.1 million euros.

Truck traffic between continental Europe and the British isles fell 6% in January-September, Getlink said, while passenger car traffic recorded a 2% decline.

“A lack of clarity for all parties involved in the supply chain with regards to the Brexit outcome, the decline in consumption in the UK market as well as the slowdown in the German economy were all factors that weighed upon cross-Channel trade,” the company said in a statement.

On Tuesday, EU Council President Donald Tusk said that EU leaders should delay Brexit after Prime Minister Boris Johnson paused legislation on his deal following a parliamentary defeat.

For Getlink, which in July saw a ‘no-deal’ Brexit as ‘very likely’, the stakes are high. In 2018, the group carried 21 million passengers, 17 million trucks, 2.7 million cars and 26% of trade between Britain and the European Union, supporting thousand of jobs.

In August, to prepare for the day when Britain leaves the EU, the company announced a series of measures, including the creation of pre-boarding customs checkpoints called “pit stops”, and a 240-space secure parking zone for Britain-bound trucks.

The parking facility’s capacity grew to 290 spaces in the third quarter, Getlink said on Wednesday.

It also confirmed its 2022 target of 735 million euros in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, “even in the current context of the Brexit negotiations.”

($1 = 0.8986 euros)

(Reporting by Piotr Lipinski in Gdansk, additional reporting by Charles Regnier; editing by Richard Pullin)

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