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Eurotunnel swings back to profit with record passengers

The operator of the Channel Tunnel has returned to profit in 2011 with a record 19 million passengers.

Eurotunnel said it made a net profit of 11m euros (£9.2m) in 2011, compared with a 58m-euro loss in 2010.

There was a 2% rise in the number of passengers on the Eurostar train service to almost 9.7 million.

The operator said it expects its passenger numbers to keep increasing in 2012 because of the Queen's Jubilee and the London Olympic Games.

For the Games, Eurotunnel said it will speed up shuttle crossing times from Calais to Dover to 30 minutes, instead of the normal 35 minutes.

In 2011, almost 19 million people and about 17.7 million tonnes of freight crossed the Channel using the Tunnel, it said.

Eurotunnel's loss in 2010 was due to a dispute with insurers over payments arising from a fire in September 2008, and it has since commissioned four fire suppression stations in the Tunnel.

The company also bought back some of its debt, reducing its interest payments by 5m euros in 2012.

BBC News

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