Eurotunnel asks for £22m compensation
Claim for lost revenue despite increased profits
Eurotunnel has asked the British and French governments to reimburse it €29 million (£22.6m) to compensate it for lost revenue during last summer’s migrant disruption.
The Channel Tunnel operator made the request as it revealed earnings before tax, interest and other charges increased to €542m (£394.2m), while pre-tax profits reached €115m (£83.6m).
It increased its dividend to shareholders by 22% and predicted further increases in profits as the European economy recovers.
Chairman and chief executive, Jacques Gounon, said: “Business remains dynamic, led by growth in the UK economy and signs of improvement in Europe.
“Despite an uncertain global environment, the group remains confident in its ability to generate sustainable growth both in cross-Channel and rail freight activities and to increase its resistance to the vagaries of the economy.”
Eurotunnel, which carries high-speed trains from London, Ebbsfleet and Ashford to Brussels and Paris, said there had been no migrant disruption since it completed works on stronger fencing in October.
In July, it asked the British and French governments to repay nearly £7m it has spent boosting security as thousands of refugees attempted to make their way from northern France to the UK.
The Home Office had already agreed to pay for new fencing.
In its annual results published last week, the operator said it expected earnings before tax, interest and other charges – which increased by €3m last year – to grow by €18m this year to €560m (£407.3m) and then by €45m to €605m (£440m) in 2017.
It revealed last week that revenues increased by 5% to an unprecedented €1.222 billion thanks to record truck traffic of nearly 1.5 million.
Mr Gounon added: “In a difficult environment in 2015, the group worked with the efficiency of a private company to deliver a genuine public service.
“This was achieved through the commitment of its staff, close cooperation with the two governments and an exemplary capacity to react to events.”
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Channel Tunnel operator increased its dividend to shareholders by 22%
Jacques Gounon, Eurotunnel chairman and chief executive