Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Monday, September 21, 1998 Published at 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK

Business: The Company File

Eurotunnel 'on track'

Light at the end of the tunnel?

Channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel has reported its first half-year net profit of £143m.

The debt-laden company said its 1998 net profit included an exceptional restructuring gain of £270m following implementation of a financial restructuring plan in April.

Operating profit for the year was boosted by an unprecedented increase in traffic in July and August.

Compared to last year's traffic results, July and August 1998 figures were significantly higher, with a 31% increase for cars, 43% for coaches and 67% for lorries.

Record passenger numbers

An all-time monthly traffic record was set by the shuttle freight service in July.

The shuttle passenger service had a record month in August, including a daily record of 13,324 cars on August 1.

[ image: Full steam ahead for the channel operator]
Full steam ahead for the channel operator
The group reported net profits of £143m for the six months to June 30. Excluding the exceptional profits, Eurotunnel reported losses of £130m which it said were "significantly better" than last year's £323m loss.

Patrick Ponsolle, group executive chairman of Eurotunnel, described the results as "very encouraging" and in line with the company's targets.

He said: "These results and the increase of our traffic in July and August give us confidence that our operating profit for the whole of 1998 should be at least in line with our target and is likely to be higher for the second consecutive year."

He said the company was recovering ahead of schedule and may be profitable well ahead of its target date.

"The group forecast a first profit around 2004 and a first dividend around 2005," he told Europe 1 radio.

"Personally, I have the feeling, if our turnaround continues at the current pace, that the profit could come a little earlier...a few years early," he said.

Another tunnel?

The results came amid mounting speculation that the company was planning to submit plans to the British and French governments this week to build a new channel rail tunnel.

Mr Ponsolle said plans for a third tunnel would be proposed with a scheme for a road tunnel.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

The Company File Contents

Relevant Stories

24 Jul 98 | The Company File
World Cup boost for Eurotunnel

Internet Links


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Microsoft trial mediator welcomed

Vodafone takeover battle heats up

Christmas turkey strike vote

NatWest bid timetable frozen

France faces EU action over electricity

Pace enters US cable heartland

Mannesmann fights back

Storehouse splits up Mothercare and Bhs

The rapid rise of Vodafone

The hidden shopping bills

Europe's top net stock

Safeway faces cash demand probe

Mitchell intervenes to help shipyard

New factory creates 500 jobs

Drugs company announces 300 jobs

BT speeds internet access

ICL creates 1,000 UK jobs

National Power splits in two

NTT to slash workforce

Scoot links up with Vivendi

New freedom for Post Office

Insolvent firms to get breathing space

Airtours profits jump 12%

Freeserve shares surge

LVMH buys UK auction house

Rover - a car firm's troubles