Eurotunnel fire hits freight traffic

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The number of lorries using the Eurotunnel shuttle service in 2009 was down 39 per cent on 2008 and 20 per cent down on 2007, according to Eurotunnel’s annual results.

Traffic was badly disrupted by the fire on 11th September 2008 and a section of the tunnel remained closed until February 2009 reducing capacity.

The second half of 2009 showed a significant improvement (17 per cent) on the first half, despite the restriction to road traffic resulting from the wintry weather at the end of the year.

An increase in the number of rail freight trains using the tunnel in the second half of 2009 compared to the second half of 2008 (+2.4 per cent) reduced the decline in the full-year traffic to 12 per cent in 2009 compared to 2008.

Overall the Eurotunnel group’s operating margin (EBITDA) was down 19 per cent to 325m euros for 2009.

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