Eurotunnel recovers as sales hit £568m

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Eurotunnel said yesterday that its new strategy for passengers and freight traffic using the cross-channel link was paying off as it reported a 5 per cent rise in 2006 revenues.

Revenue from its shuttle services, which carry trucks and passenger vehicles, were the main driver behind the growth, with a 7 per cent increase in sales to £318m. These vehicles are loaded on to trains between Folkestone and Coquelles in France.

Revenues at its railway services - used by Eurostar to carry passengers - rose 2 per cent to £240m. After adding non-transport activities, group revenues were up 5 per cent at £568m. Eurotunnel, which is concluding a major financial restructuring, saw revenues decline between 2002 and 2004. In 2005, revenues increased by 1 per cent.

Jacques Gounon, Eurotunnel's chairman and chief executive, said the 2006 results were ahead of the business plan that the financial restructuring was based on. "Eurotunnel has seen a significant growth in revenue from the now mature cross-Channel market, for the second year in a row," M. Gounon said.

Under its new commercial strategy, Eurotunnel has ditched volume growth as its priority. Instead it has sought to forge long-term contracts with freight businesses.

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