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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 October 2005, 17:53 GMT 18:53 UK
Eurotunnel announces 900 job cuts
Eurotunnel train
The cuts will leave Eurotunnel with a workforce of about 2,300
Channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel has announced 900 job cuts as it struggles to fight off competition from budget airlines and ferry operators.

The firm said the cuts, which account for about a quarter of its workforce, would be made through voluntary redundancies in the UK and France.

Eurotunnel said 450 jobs would go at its UK base in Folkestone.

Boss Jacques Gounon said the company needed to be "more flexible, more reactive to our markets".

'Strong competition'

The redundancies were agreed after months of negotiations with staff, Eurotunnel said.

A spokesman said the cuts would be made across the board, including managers and staff at the company's shuttle services and terminals.

The Anglo-French company said it aimed to achieve the cuts by June 2006. Eurotunnel is battling to reduce its 6.1bn debt mountain, and talks with creditors are continuing.

On Wednesday, the company reported a 1% rise in third-quarter operating revenues to 140.8m (208m euros; $249m), although revenues slipped at its passenger shuttle division.

Eurotunnel said that "revenue from the passenger business continued to be affected by strong price competition".

The job cuts will leave Eurotunnel with a workforce of about 2,300.

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