The operator of the Channel Tunnel announced that total revenues for the third quarter rose four per cent to €320.3m (£285.4m), compared to the same period in 2015. And it was positive about its prospects going forward, predicting ongoing growth in the year ahead.
Truck numbers on rail shuttles between Britain and France shot up 14 per cent to a record 400,000. Passenger shuttle traffic increased by two per cent, though there was a decline in traffic on the Eurostar - passenger numbers dropped ten per cent. Demand for travel to France, particularly Paris, dropped back following a series of terrorist attacks.
Jacques Gounon, chairman and chief executive of Groupe Eurotunnel SE, said: "The group is well placed for the sustained period of growth in the UK economy forecast by the IMF and the Bank of England. At the same time, the fall in the value of the pound has had a significant positive impact on the service of our debt."
He said these were encouraging signs, while new records for the group this quarter "put into perspective the change in public opinion following the vote in favour of Brexit: our business has never been stronger".
GB Railfreight is set to be sold by Eurotunnel, which bought the business from FirstGroup in 2010, with Swedish private equity firm EQT Infrastructure II making an offer. The deal is subject to consultation with Groupe Eurotunnel's staff representative bodies.
Eurotunnel's bullish remarks come as Eurostar, the rail service linking London with Paris and Brussels, said it would be cutting 80 jobs and reducing services amid a "challenging" operating environment.