Page last updated at 08:02 GMT, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 09:02 UK

Eurotunnel reports first profit

Eurotunnel trains
Eurotunnel completed a debt restructuring programme last year

Eurotunnel has reported its first annual profit, boosted by its huge programme of debt restructuring.

The company that runs the tunnel between Britain and France reported a net profit of 1m euros ($1.6m; 795,000) in the whole of 2007.

That included a 3.3bn-euro exceptional profit from its capital restructuring.

The company has struggled with its debt levels since the tunnel was opened in 1994, but it finally reached agreement with its creditors last year.

"The year 2007 proves that the new Eurotunnel group has broken with its past," the company said in a statement.

Lost perks

The 2007 agreement cut its debt levels from 9.2bn euros to 4.2bn euros.

The restructuring plan involved shareholders swapping their shares for shares in a new company called Groupe Eurotunnel, which saved the company from bankruptcy but meant they lost perks such as unlimited free travel.

The company said its sales had grown 15% at constant exchange rates in the first three months of 2008, making its boss optimistic about beating projections.

"The first quarter gives me a lot of confidence that we can beat our forecast for 2010," Eurotunnel chief executive Jacques Gounon said.

Eurotunnel cuts rail freight cost
23 Oct 07 |  Business
Passenger rise buoys Eurotunnel
11 Jul 07 |  Business
Eurotunnel shares slide continues
03 Jul 07 |  Business
New Eurotunnel shares in meltdown
02 Jul 07 |  Business
Warning as Eurotunnel shares rise
31 May 07 |  Business

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