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Last Updated: Monday, 11 July, 2005, 10:05 GMT 11:05 UK
Eurotunnel sees rise in revenue
Eurotunnel train
Eurotunnel saw truck and coach traffic rise
Eurotunnel, the debt-laden Channel Tunnel operator, saw revenues rise2% during the first half of this year to 268m ($467.5m).

At a heated annual meeting last month, the firm, which hopes to get creditors to write-off two thirds of its 6bn debts, said its year had started well.

In a trading statement on Monday, it said core shuttle services rose 6% to 146m, from 138m in 2004's first half.

But revenue from railway operators such as Eurostar and SNCF was flat at 117m.

Project Dare

The company said it was benefiting from its Project Dare strategy of bringing services more in line with demand.

Its chairman Jacques Gounon, re-elected at the annual meeting, hopes to submit a debt-restructuring plan to creditors by the middle of July.

If creditors reject the plan for improving Euro tunnel's fortunes, they could eventually take control of the company.

Eurotunnel Jacques Gounon
Jacques Gounon wants creditors to write off two thirds of debt

The company had some good luck, however.

It benefited from berthing problems at the Port of Calais in the first quarter that discouraged some truck and car drivers from taking ferries instead of using Eurotunnel.

During the first half, the company said it transported 9% more trucks.

The company said its average yield per vehicle on the 703,363 trucks it transported in the first half rose, taking truck revenue higher.

But rail freight was down 13%.

Cars and coaches

The company also transported 951,561 cars - 1% more than in the first half of 2004.

Coach traffic was up 34% to 39,831 coaches in the first half of 2005 and Eurotunnel customer Eurostar saw passenger levels rise 8%. This was partly due to the reduction in journey times since higher-speed track was installed in the UK.

The firm's growth in first quarter of the year was stronger than in the second quarter because the impact of the problems at Calais dissipated and because Easter fell in the second quarter.

Eurotunnel chairman wins battle
17 Jun 05 |  Business

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