Fewer trains improve Eurotunnel's figures

Contributed by admin on Sep 15, 2005 - 06:16 PM


Eurotunnel's unpopular move to run fewer trains may have upset Channel Tunnel passengers  but the cut in services has played a big role in cutting its losses.

With half-year figures down by 18% to £87m, chief executive Jacques Gounon is today locked in rescue talks with Eurotunnel's lenders, who are owed £6.1bn.

Eurotunnel's first-half trading was also vastly improved by the axeing of ferry services earlier in the year when P&O was unable to use berths at Calais. Eurotunnel carried 34% more coaches, 9% more trucks and 1% more cars during the six months. However, a £74m profit o­n those operations was wiped out by £161m of debt interest.

Gounon has given himself a deadline of next month to sort out the debt. He is trying to stop the banks and other lenders taking control at the expense of shareholders, mainly French small investors.

The shares stood at 17p today, ¾p up, valuing the equity at £420m.