Withdraws 2020 core profit guidance
Q3 revenue down 17% y/y
Secures waiver on debt terms
Oct 19 (Reuters) - Getlink GETP.PA slashed its 2020 earnings expectations for the second time this year due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the operator of the Channel Tunnel said on Monday.
The group withdrew its core profit guidance, saying the 350 million euro ($410.3 million) target set in July was based on an assumption of no new travel restrictions.
Getlink, which runs the Channel Tunnel between Britain and Europe, is facing an uncertain outlook due to revived fears of sweeping lockdowns that could further reduce traffic and Brexit.
On Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was time to prepare for a no-trade deal, unless the European Union fundamentally changed course.
A "no deal" Brexit would sow chaos through supply chains that stretch across Britain, the EU and beyond.
The firm, which carries about 26% of trade in goods between Britain and the European Union, posted a 25% drop in revenue to 621.6 million euros for the first nine months of 2020.
The third-quarter revenue dropped 17% to 252.1 million euros, with the railway network down 57%, hurt by a lower Eurostar passenger numbers and a fall in cross-Channel rail freight trains.
Nevertheless, Chief Executive Yan Leriche said in a statement that "the group is well prepared to make the most of the future post Brexit on 1 January 2021 as well as the changes unfolding in the world."
Getlink has yet to unveil its dividend plans for 2020, but said it had secured a waiver on the Eurotunnel term loan's principal financial covenant, whilst its net cash position increased by 16% to 596 million euros at end-September.
In April, Getlink withdrew its previous guidance, scrapped 2019 dividend proposal and put thousands of staff on part-time work.
($1 = 0.8530 euros)
(Reporting by Pawel Goraj in Gdansk; Editing by Sam Holmes)
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