Friday, July 22, 2011

Freight Booms on Euro Tunnel This Year

Group Returns to Profit
Shipping News Feature

UK – Cross channel rail operator Euro Tunnel has reported a return to profitability in its first half of year trading with much of this attributed to what the company describes as a “spectacular” increase in tonnage carried on rail freight trains travelling through the Channel Tunnel.

According to figures released today, the Channel tunnel has seen a 21% increase in freight tonnage which has required an extra 16% increase in the number of trains to accommodate demand. Freight revenues more than doubled to £65.4 million ($106.5 million).

Speaking of the upturn Jacques Gounon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Eurotunnel SA, said that:

“This first half result is very satisfying: we have increased traffic without sacrificing prices which is positive given the strongly competitive nature of the Short Straits market. Developments in rail freight have brought expected growth and provide new opportunities for the future”.

The group has also seen its share of the Straits cross-channel car market increase by 5% this year to almost 50%, despite an overall contraction in traffic of 2% in comparison to the same period last year.

Total revenues for the group have rising by 22% to just under £360 million ($586 million) whilst earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation increased by 37% to £172 million ($280 million) in comparison to the same period last year, with a consolidated net result of a profit of £1.82 million ($2.96 million) for the first half of 2011 compared to a loss of £42.7 million ($69.5 million) for the same period last year.