Eurotunnel in the black

Channel Tunnel operator turned a profit of €11m in 2011.

Eurotunnel, the company that operates trains shuttling cars and freight through the Channel Tunnel, made money last year, posting a net profit of €11m; the company lost €57m a year earlier.

Revenues for 2011 grew 15 per cent to €845m and trading profit increased - by 40 per cent - to €247m.

At yesterday's board of directors meeting, Jacques Gounon, Eurotunnel chairman and chief executive officer said:

The outlook is positive and, as a sign of our confidence in the future, we will ask the shareholders to vote at the AGM for the doubling of the dividend to €0.08 for the 2011 financial year.

Eurotunnel, anticipating a spike in tunnel traffic during the Olympics, will increase its train's speeds from 90 mph to 100 mph. At that faster speed, cars and heavy materials will move through the Chunnel in 30 minutes instead of 35.

The company also plans to buy three ex-SeaFrance ferries.

Shares of Eurotunnel, listed in London and Paris, have added 20 per cent in 2012.