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Disruption from Calais migrants weighs on Eurotunnel Q3

Eurotunnel said on Thursday that third-quarter revenue rose 3 percent to 334.4 million euros ($379.48 million), as economic recovery helped offset the impact of the disruption to traffic resulting from the migrant crisis.

The operator of the Channel Tunnel linking France and Britain said that business remained dynamic, driven by a recovering economy in Britain and to a lesser extent in the euro-zone.

But a camp of around 6,000 migrants in the Calais area fleeing war, political turmoil and poverty outside Europe has caused disruption to traffic since Summer.


Andrew Errington | Moment Mobile | Getty Images

Eurotunnel carries Eurostar high-speed trains between Paris, Brussels and London, as well as shuttle trains containing passenger cars, coaches and freight trucks.

Rail freight tonnage fell 27 percent year-on-year and the number of freight trains using the Channel tunnel fell 33 percent, the company said - blaming the drop on the migrant crisis.

Passenger traffic in the quarter rose 2 percent year-on-year to 2,866,155 on the Eurostar. Traffic however fell 1 percent on trucks and 9 percent on coaches compared with the same period last year.

In July Eurotunnel asked the French and British governments to reimburse it for close to 10 million euros it spent to beef up security to cope with a migrant crisis at the French port of Calais.

Third quarter sales figures no longer include MyFerryLink, the ferry service between Britain and France, which ended its its activity on June 29.