Groupe Eurotunnel’s 2012 revenue grew 14 percent from the previous year to 993.1 million euros ($1.3 billion), driven by record truck shuttles through its undersea rail track between the U.K. and France.
The Anglo-French company’s trains transported a record 1,464,880 trucks last year, an increase of 16 percent on 2011.
This increased the group’s share of the cross-Channel truck market, where it competes with ferry operators, to 43.5 percent.
The cross-Channel truck market grew 2.5 percent in 2012, but traffic remains around 10 percent below its pre-recession level in 2007.
Eurotunnel’s freight unit, Europorte, which operates its own trains, boosted revenue by 28 percent to $279 million. The company, which recently secured a pan-European operating license, has increased its presence in French ports and launched services to the port of Antwerp and surrounding destinations in Belgium.
Total rail traffic through the tunnel declined, however, by 7 percent to 1.23 million tons, as SNCF, France’s state-owned railway, ended its wagon-load business.
The company entered the cross-Channel shipping market in 2012 with the $92 million acquisition of three vessels from the bankrupt French line Sea France.