Eurotunnel loses €22 million due to blaze

Eurotunnel has lost €22 million in revenues due to last month’s Channel Tunnel fire, which caused the tunnel to close for 30-hours and limited services for several weeks afterwards.

Revenue fell 6 per cent in the third quarter to €189.2 million from €214.2 million in the same period a year ago. But despite the disruptions to services following the blaze, passenger numbers still managed to rise 6 per cent on the previous year to 2.37 million.
In the first nine months of the year, Eurostar’s passenger numbers have increased 14 per cent. In July, its busiest month, the train service carried 923,151 passengers - a new record.

Truck traffic, which had shown growth of 7 per cent in the first half of 2008, fell by 14 per cent in the third quarter. Car traffic was down by 12 per cent in the quarter and coach traffic fell by 22 per cent in the quarter.

Jacques Gounon, chairman and chief executive of the company, said the group should not be significantly affected by the incident because of insurance cover for material damage and operating losses due to business interruption amounted to €900 million, equivalent to more than a year’s worth of revenues, with an excess of €10 million.