Eurotunnel’s profits slump

EUROTUNNEL’S profits for last year were hit by snow disruption to services, the company said yesterday.

The Channel Tunnel operator posted a net profit of €1.4m (£1.36m) for 2009, down from €40m in 2008.

The company has seen services through the tunnel blighted by a number of factors.

Eurostar train services timetable was badly hit in December when snow played havoc with the transport network. And a fire in September 2008 reduced capacity until February.

Meanwhile the recession also hit the firm, which estimated the market for cross-Channel truck shuttling services has plunged by a fifth since 2007.

But Eurotunnel chief executive Jacques Gounon said the results, with the company still in the black, were “proof of Eurotunnel’s resilience in the face of difficulties”.

“Our group has remained profitable in an unfavourable economic context. This performance shows that the group is in good shape to benefit from the economic recovery as soon as it begins.”

The company received more than £30m in fire-related insurance last year which helped it to stay in the black.