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Channel Tunnel group Getlink: 'No-deal' Brexit becoming very likely

Lianna Brinded
Head of Yahoo Finance UK
Jacques Gounon, Chairman and CEO of Getlink, formerly known as Eurotunnel, a public company which manages and operates the Channel Tunnel between England and France. Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

Channel Tunnel operator Getlink (GET.PA) — formerly known as Eurotunnel — warned that it was “very likely” that Britain is going to leave the European Union on 31 October without a deal.

Getlink operates the Eurostar high-speed trains between Paris, Brussels and London. It also carries shuttle trains containing passenger cars, coaches, and freight trucks.

On a conference call to investors to discuss its half year results for 2019, Getlink CEO Jacques Gounon said "clearly our scenario is the no-deal but we can cope. We remain confident we can manage the next stages of Brexit and confirm the dividend growth policy."

“We are cautious but not worried. Economic activity will continue to develop," he added.

READ MORE: UK government being sued by Eurotunnel over no-deal Brexit ferries contract

With this scenario in mind, it says it expects 2019 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to fall to €560m (£503m; $626.5m) from €569m in 2018.

There is a fear that a no-deal Brexit will negatively affect Getlink due to the group supporting thousands of jobs that rely on trade between the UK and EU. Last year, Getlink carried 21 million passengers, 17 million trucks, and 2.7 million cars.

There was a French customs officers strike between March 4 and May 15, which hit EBITDA for the first half of the year, alongside a slowdown in cross-Channel markets.

So far this year, EBITDA declined by 2% to €255m while sales have grown by 2%, reaching €523m.