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Getlink sees lower earnings as boost from energy market fades

The logo of Channel tunnel operator Getlink, formerly known as Eurotunnel, is seen during the company's 2018 annual results presentation in Paris

By Nathan Vifflin

(Reuters) -Getlink, which runs the undersea tunnel between France and Britain, on Thursday forecast a drop in core earnings this year as a return to more normal conditions in energy markets ends an unusual boost for its ElecLink business.

The company's shares rose as much as 5.9%, however, as some analysts said the guidance had already been priced in.

Getlink said it expected earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) of 780-830 million euros ($846-$901 million) this year, after 910 million euros in 2023.

"We have come through four years of extraordinary conditions, and ElecLink in particular has benefited from exceptional market conditions. Today, the energy market is returning to normal." Getlink Chief Executive Officer Yann Leriche told reporters on a call.

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ElecLink, an underwater cable enabling electricity exchange between France and Britain, was launched in May 2022 and has benefited from unusually high price gaps for electricity between the two countries, caused by the war in Ukraine.

Broker J.P. Morgan said in a note that "an underwhelming guidance was largely already expected", adding it "could be a clearing event for investors to come back in the shares".

For 2024, ElecLink has sold 71% of its interconnector capacity, which would generate 292 million euros in revenues, Getlink said.

The company posted EBITDA of 979 million euros for 2023, ahead of analysts' forecast of 960 million in an LSEG poll.

Consolidated net profit was 326 million euros, against expectations of 305 million.

($1 = 0.9216 euros)

(Reporting by Nathan VifflinEditing by Mark Potter)