Euro­tun­nel asks for £22m com­pen­sa­tion

Claim for lost rev­enue de­spite in­creased prof­its

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - What’s On - By Chris Price

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.”

What do you think? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­m­

Pic­ture: Gary Browne FM3604351

Chan­nel Tun­nel op­er­a­tor in­creased its div­i­dend to share­hold­ers by 22%

Jac­ques Gounon, Euro­tun­nel chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive

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