TRADING STATEMENT: Q1 2004 REVENUE & TRAFFIC

  • 7% increase in truck carryings with two-point increase in market share
  • Car market share stable at 55% in a contracting market
  • 4% fall in operating revenue

 

Eurotunnel, operator of the Channel Tunnel, today announced its revenue and traffic for the first quarter of 2004.

Operating Revenue

Despite the strong volume performance from Eurotunnel's truck shuttle business, total shuttle revenues declined by 8% at constant exchange rates compared to the first quarter of 2003. This was mainly due to lower truck yields. Eurotunnel maintained its car market share and achieved higher yields than in the same period last year, but the reduction in the number of vehicles carried also contributed to the decline in revenues.

Railways revenue increased by 2% to £57.5 million. This amount included payments due under the Minimum Usage Charge arrangements.

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Eurotunnel Shuttle Services

Truck shuttles

The short straits truck market returned to growth during the first quarter, showing a 2% increase.

Eurotunnel carried 326,003 trucks in the first quarter of 2004, an increase of 7% compared to 2003. Market share for the quarter improved by two-points to 43%. Average yields were substantially lower than in the first quarter of 2003, resulting in lower revenues. The market remains intensely competitive.

Passenger shuttles

The short straits market contracted by 13% during the quarter compared to the first quarter of 2003, during which traffic was supported by day trip price promotions. The short straits market also continues to suffer from competition from low-cost airlines.

Eurotunnel was able to maintain its market share at 55% in a very competitive market place.

The coach market declined by 8%, with Eurotunnel volumes falling by 17% for the quarter compared to the same period in 2003. Market share fell by four points to 38%. Scheduled coach services were significantly reduced due to competition from low-cost airlines.

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Railways (Eurostar & rail freight)

The Channel Tunnel is also used by other rail services not managed by Eurotunnel – Eurostar for high-speed passenger- only services on London/Paris and London/Brussels, and EWS and SNCF for international rail freight services.

Eurostar

Eurostar passengers* travelling through the Channel Tunnel in the first quarter of 2004 increased by 19% compared to the first quarter of 2003, continuing the strong growth achieved since the opening of the first section of the UK high-speed rail link.

Rail freight

The volume of rail freight transported through the Channel Tunnel continues to recover with 468,390 tonnes carried in the first quarter, an increase of 7%.

Revenues from Eurostar and rail freight services through the Channel Tunnel are protected by the Minimum Usage Charge (MUC) paid to Eurotunnel by the Railways. This payment continues until November 2006.

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