Vinci eyes emerging market expansion

The French developer, which saw its revenue grow 4.4% in 2013, is targeting further airport acquisitions in Chile, Peru and Brazil.

Vinci’s 2013 financial and operational performance was solid despite unfavourable climatic and macroeconomic conditions in Europe, according to yearly results unveiled this week.

The French group’s revenue grew 4.4 percent to €40.3 million last year, driven by a 6.4 percent increase outside France. EBITDA also progressed 3.3 percent to €5.6 million, with a margin of 13.9 percent.

This was helped by the good fortunes of its toll road unit, which saw traffic turn positive year-on-year in the second quarter of 2013. It was up 1.1 percent on a full-year basis.

Traffic was also up 6.6 percent at Vinci airports, to 42.9 million passengers. This was mainly underpinned by strong growth in Cambodia (18 percent), France (7 percent) and Portugal (5 percent).

In a follow-on press conference yesterday, Vinci also stated its intent to tap growing airline traffic in emerging markets by targeting concessions in countries such as Chile and Peru. It also said it was interested in airports in Asia, regional platforms in Southern Europe and the US and motorway concessions in Colombia.

The group already proved active on the acquisition trail last year, most notably through its €3 billion takeover of Portuguese operator ANA – completed in September – which added 10 airports to Vinci’s portfolio. The developer also bought an additional 4.7 percent stake in Aéroports de Paris from the French state and the French strategic investment fund, bringing its total holding in the business to 8 percent.

Other notable acquisitions included Colas’ 16.67 percent stake in Cofiroute, a French toll road operator, for between €780 million and €800 million. The deal gave it full control of the company.

Vinci lined up a solid pipeline of contracts in 2013, with intake up 5.2 percent on the year to €34.4 billion. This was partly made up of several key projects won in France, including the public-private partnership (PPP) project to automate 29 Aisne and Meuse river dams, the construction of the Stade des Lumières in Lyon, the Arena 92 stadium in Nanterre, underground works in the Rennes metro, the Mirail University PPP project in Toulouse, and the ITER Tokamak reactor near Aix-en-Provence.

But the company also secured sizeable deals overseas, such as the Atlantic Bridge in Panama, the Ohio River Bridges PPP project in the US, road works maintenance contracts in Canada and the UK, a gas pipeline in Bolivia and liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tanks in Russia.

Other contract wins that have not been yet entered into the backlog at the end of 2013 include the Moscow Dynamo stadium in Russia, the Atlanta North West Corridor in the USA and a new coastal highway in La Réunion.