Atlantia results show Chile earthquake impact

In its latest half-yearly results, Italian toll road developer Atlantia has revealed the setback delivered to part of its Chilean operations following the country’s earthquake in February. Overall, the firm registered an increase in revenues and profits.

In its consolidated interim report for the six months to 30 June, Italian toll road developer Atlantia reveals that its Chilean operator, Los Lagos, saw a 2.6 percent decline in the number of kilometres travelled on its network compared with the same period of 2009.

The report adds that the network saw a 4.7 percent reduction in light vehicles, partly offset by 3.8 percent growth in heavy traffic. The report notes: “Traffic figures were affected by damage to the network to the north of the section operated by Los Lagos (which instead escaped damage) as a result of the earthquake that hit Chile on 27 February 2010”.

Los Lagos is the holder of a concession expiring in 2023 for the 135-kilometre section of toll motorway between Rio Bueno and Puerto Montt. It is not part of the Chilean toll road operations held jointly between Atlantia and fellow Italian toll road firm SIAS, which were the subject of an announcement last month that they would be merged into a single vehicle in which Italian bank Mediobanca would also have a stake.  

In the aftermath of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake, Chile’s Ministry of Public Works estimated that the cost of repairing infrastructure affected by the earthquake was between $1 billion and $1.2 billion. Of the 1,400 kilometres of roads under concession, it was estimated that only around 100 kilometres were damaged. This led Chile’s outgoing transport minister Sergio Bitar to comment: “Considering the magnitude of this earthquake, which was brutal, our infrastructure has resisted well.”

Overall, Atlantia saw its consolidated revenues climb to €1.778 billion in the first half of this year, up 10.3 percent on the first half of 2009, while gross operating profits reached €1.077 billion, an increase of 6.7 percent on the first half of 2009. Motorway traffic on the firm’s Italian network was up by 0.7 percent in the first half.