Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The pen is mightier than the sword'

Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Eurotunnel sees the light

Latest update : 2008-04-08

Long beset by financial problems, the rail company Eurotunnel has registered its first ever profit. Chairman Jacques Gounon has announced he will pay a first dividend to shareholders in 2009. Economics journalist Reuben Easey analyses.

It was with great satisfaction that Jacques Gounon, Eurotunnel’s CEO, announced Tuesday’s figures. He says the ‘new’ Eurotunnel is nothing like the one of old, which struggled almost from the moment it left the station.

Construction costs for the tunnel were around 16 billion euros, more than double the initial estimates – and at the insistence of the then British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, ‘not a penny’ of public money was used to finance it.
Consequently, the company has been forever burdened by enormous debts to the banks which put up the cash.

Moreover, estimates of passenger numbers proved to be hugely over-optimistic. But the major factor which has allowed it to finally start turning a profit is the enormous restructuring of its debt which took place in 2006.

Eurotunnel was able to wipe out its debts by repaying the banks in the form of shares. This has placed Eurotunnel on a far more even footing. The upturn in fortunes is also thanks to increased traffic through the tunnel, both on its freight service, and the passenger trains which connect London’s Saint Pancras to Paris’ Gare du Nord.

Those who have suffered most have been the firm’s small shareholders, the vast majority of them French. Having seen the value of their investments dwindle to virtually nothing, this is at last something for them to cheer about.  

Date created : 2008-04-08

COMMENT(S)