Abertis’ key figures improved in the first half of 2016, with growth in net profit (+9% like-for-like) to €510Mn , EBITDA (+7% like-for-like) to €1,502Mn and revenue (+5%) to a total of €2,243Mn, in a period featuring a resilient recurring business, traffic increases and the addition of new assets to the consolidation scope following the acquisition of 50% of Autopista Central in Chile.
Comparison of net profit between 2015 and 2016 is shaped by the capital gains from the listing of 66% of Cellnex Telecom in May 2015.
Consolidated figures in this period were affected by the negative exchange rate trends in Latin America (Brazil, Chile and Argentina). However, the increase in revenue helped to offset these effects and the Group ended the period with reported revenues of €2,243Mn, up 5% year on year.
Traffic continued to grow in the main markets. In Spain, the uptrend continued with traffic advancing by 5.1% compared with the same period of 2015. In international markets especially noteworthy growth was posted in Chile (+4.6%), France (+1.2%) and Puerto Rico (+0.7%).
With respect to road safety, the Group as a whole delivered improvements in accident (-4%) and mortality (-9.7%) rates, driven above all by the Brazilian market, where the number of deaths on the road decreased by 13%.
As for progress on the Strategic Plan, following the acquisition in January of 50% of Autopista Central, in May Abertis announced an agreement to acquire 51.4% of A4 Holding, which manages the A4 (Brescia-Padova) and A31 (Vicenza-Piovene-Rochette) toll roads. This transaction is expected to be concluded in the second half of the year.
The company is also pushing ahead with its plans to extend its concessions. It is currently negotiating in Chile and Argentina similar agreements to that reached in April in Puerto Rico to extend the concession periods for the PR-22 and PR-5 toll roads by ten years.
The international business accounted for around 70% of revenue in the first half with France is the largest contributor to the Group’s revenue (35% of the total) and EBITDA.
The Group’s investments in the period amounted to €1,427Mn, of which €382Mn corresponded to growth and €29Mn to operational capex. The main growth projects in the period related to improvements and lane expansions on toll roads in Brazil (€195Mn) and the outlay of €99Mn for the extension of the concession in Puerto Rico.
Owing to the inclusion of Autopista Central of Chile in the consolidation scope, Abertis’ net debt totalled €14,157Mn in the first half compared with €12,554Mn at the end of 2015. However, the net debt/EBITDA ratio decreased from 4.7x (December 2015) to 4.6x (June 2016).