A high-speed Eurostar train leaves the Channel tunnel in Coquelles.
Rail operator Groupe Eurotunnel has seen a three-fold increase in its 2012 profit as the London Olympics and the Queen's diamond jubilee celebrations boosted passenger traffic to the UK.
Paris-based Eurotunnel said its net income rose to €34m ($44m, £29m) in 2012 from €11m a year earlier. Total turnover increased 16 percent to €1bn and operating margin rose by 10 percent to €461m.
In 2012, about 20 million passengers and 20 million tonnes of goods used the 30-mile subsea rail link between Britain and France. Eurotunnel customer Eurostar Group recorded a 2.2 percent increase in passenger traffic to 9.9 million. The group's own shuttles have carried the remaining people.
"The Eurotunnel Group had a record year in 2012 and tripled its net profit. The long-term strategy as an infrastructure manager and the solid performance in 2012 prove the quality of our business model and the capacity of the Group to produce lasting value," CEO Jacques Gounon said in a statement.
Despite continued positive operating conditions, the company said that it will struggle to achieve last year's traffic surge in the absence of big-ticket events in 2013. It abstained from providing outlook for 2013, citing uncertainties surrounding its newly-acquired ferry business, MyFerryLink.
Eurotunnel's €65m acquisition of French state rail operator SNCF's defunct SeaFrance ferry arm is yet to be approved by the UK Competition Commission. Following the approval by French authorities, the company rebranded the arm as MyFerryLink.
The company expects a final ruling in mid-April as it confirmed that the shipping arm complements its shuttle service rather than distorting competition.
It reiterated the target to achieve earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization of €500m in 2015, compared with €461m in 2012.
Eurotunnel also recommended a 50 percent increase in full-year dividend to 12 cents, compared to 8 cents in 2011.
The group holds the contract to operate the Channel Tunnel, the fastest transport system for crossing the Strait of Dover, until 2086.
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