Abertis has reached August 1 with an increase in traffic on its toll roads in Spain 24% over 2020, which together with the increase of 13% in the concessions in Brazil and 15% in the French ones, give a boost to the Spanish ACS, which owns 50% less one share of the capital of the concessionaire. The construction company chaired by Florentino Pérez awaits the contribution of Abertis to close 2021 with a 30% increase in group profit, as Pérez pointed out in his speech during this year’s Shareholders’ Meeting.
Spain is the best performing country for Abertis among the main markets for the company. Traffic in Italy grows by 13%, in France 15%, and 20% in Mexico. Even so, the concessions of the firm in Spain still have room for improvement since until August 1, they registered a 19% drop over the same period in 2019, the year before the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis. Brazil marks 3% less than in 2019, France 17% and Mexico, 1% less, according to data published by the Italian Atlantia, the first shareholder of Abertis.
This improvement in data has already had a first reflection in ACS accounts. In the first half of the year, the profit of the construction company has grown by 4.8% over the period January-June 2020 thanks mainly to Abertis, which has contributed 62 million euros to the group’s net profit and 77 million to the ebitda with a 22% increase in traffic.
Pérez is confident that the recovery of Abertis will allow the group’s net profit to improve by 30% this year, until around 750 million euros – in 2020 it registered a profit of 574 million. Although for this it is necessary that the advancement of vaccination in Spain and in Europe end sanitary restrictions and international tourism is definitively opened.
For the moment, the fifth wave of the pandemic has not allowed the total opening and in summer some restrictions continue in Spain and the rest of Europe, which is limiting the arrival of tourists to the main markets of the company and the return to the total economic activity prior to the pandemic. Even so, in the last week of July Traffic was already above that of the same week in 2019 in Brazil, Mexico and Chile, while it was 3% less in France and 7% less in Spain.
World’s first dealership
Pérez’s plan is to create the first highway concessionaire in the world with Abertis. To do this, it has tried to acquire Autopista per la Italia (ASPI) from its partners the Benettons, with no luck, and now it has announced that it is negotiating with different funds to build that world-leading concessionaire. For this, it has the funds from the sale to Vinci of its industrial subsidiary, Cobra, for almost 5,000 million euros.