Bloomberg News

Eurotunnel Third-Quarter Sales Rise 9.2% on Vehicle Increases

October 19, 2011

Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Groupe Eurotunnel SA, the operator of the undersea rail tunnel linking Britain and France, said sales rose 9.2 percent in the third quarter as its train shuttles carried more cars and trucks.

Sales increased to 231.7 million euros ($320 million) from 212.1 million euros a year earlier, the Paris-based company said in a statement.

Eurotunnel is “conscious of the signs of economic slowdown and will continue to optimize the flexibility of its services,” Chief Executive Officer Jacques Gounon said in the statement.

The company raised its full-year earnings forecast July 22 after recoveries in passenger and freight traffic helped it record a first-half profit of 2 million euros, compared with a loss a year earlier. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization will increase for 2011 after jumping 37 percent in the first half, it said at the time.

Third-quarter revenue at Eurotunnel’s shuttle service, which carries vehicles under the Channel, rose 6.9 percent to 116.5 million euros, the company said today. Sales from other train operators’ use of Eurotunnel’s network gained 6 percent, while its Europorte freight unit posted a 28 percent increase.

The number of passengers on Eurostar Group Ltd. trains traveling through the tunnel declined 2 percent in the quarter, Eurostar said. There was a “slight drop” in the figure at the end of the period, it said.

Eurostar is currently the only outside operator of passenger trains using the Channel Tunnel. Deutsche Bahn AG, Germany’s state-owned railway, is planning services through the tunnel in 2013. The European Union is investigating whether France and the U.K. have properly implemented measures to open the market for rail services through the tunnel, and the two countries have until November to respond.

--Editors: Tom Lavell, David Risser

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Webb in Frankfurt at awebb25@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net


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