H1 results show truly international Abertis

Sixty-five percent of the company’s revenues and 60% of its EBITDA are now generated outside of Spain.

Barcelona-headquartered Abertis is well on its way to internationalising its business, with its latest set of results showing 65 percent of revenues are now generated outside of Spain.

Sixty percent of earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) for the first half of the year (H1) also came from outside the Iberian country. That’s a favourable comparison to 2009, when 55 percent of Abertis’ EBITDA was generated in Spain.

The company’s diversification goal has been much helped by last year’s acquisition of a set of Brazilian and Chilean toll road assets from OHL, which have now been fully integrated in Abertis’ books, boosting its revenues by €488 million.

That integration, together with other extraordinary events like asset sales, cut sharply into Abertis’ profits, though, reducing them by a whooping 62 percent. Strip those extraordinary events out, and profits for the first half of the year actually grew by a modest 6 percent to €283 million.

Abertis president Salvador Alemany stressed “the importance of the geographic diversification effect in markets such as Brazil and Chile, which compensate the weak performance that still remains in the group’s concessions in Europe”.

That difference is quite evident in the concessions’ traffic numbers. While traffic in Brazil and Chile was up by a respective 4.6 percent and 8.1 percent in H1, in France and Spain it fell by a respective 0.7 percent and 9 percent. 

Allemany did point out the situation in Europe appears to have improved in May and June, “in the case of France [with] a return to growth [1.4 percent] and in the case of Spain [representing] an attenuation of the fall [-5.4 percent].

Abertis derived 86 percent of its H1 revenues of just under €2 billion from its toll roads business, which also accounted for 90 percent, or circa €1.3 billion, of the group’s EBITDA.

Elsewhere, Abertis chief executive Francisco Reynes said the “company will continue to look at potential disposal opportunities for our remaining airport assets as well as new investment opportunities abroad, with a special focus on toll roads in North America and Australia”.

Abertis recently sold a bundle of European and US airport assets to ADC & HAS Airports Worldwide, whose majority shareholder is Canada’s Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, for an enterprise value of €294 million. It is also said to be on the cusp of selling Luton Airport to a consortium of AENA and AXA Private Equity for some €400 million.