The completed upgrade of Sydney’s M2 toll road has helped boost Transurban’s annual profit by 45 per cent.
Strong growth in traffic on toll roads, especially the recently upgraded M2 in Sydney, has boosted operator Transurban’s annual profit by 45 per cent.
The company’s toll revenue rose by 13 per cent in the year to June 30 to $907 million, and profit of $252 million was up from $174.5 million in the prior year.
Daily traffic on its roads – which include Melbourne’s CityLink and Sydney’s M2, M5, M7, Eastern Distributor and Cross City and Lane Cove tunnels – rose by six per cent.
Chief executive Scott Charlton said higher traffic was largely driven by the completion of its $600 million upgrade of the M2.
Traffic on the M2 rose by 14 per cent, and toll revenue was up 35 per cent to $199 million.
Mr Charlton said Transurban had made headway in improving its network of roads, and expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of Queensland Motorways and Sydney’s Cross City Tunnel.
Transurban took control of Queensland Motorways, which operates Brisbane’s toll road network, at the start of July.
The company is in the process of integrating Queensland Motorways, and has found no surprises, Mr Charlton said.
Transurban can improve the outcomes from revenue, fees and maintenance at Queensland Motorways over the next three to five years, he said.
The company was well positioned for the year ahead and would continue to focus on improvements to its road networks, Mr Charlton said.
Transurban said it was waiting on the outcome of an environmental impact assessment on the $3 billion NorthConnex project in Sydney – a proposed nine-kilometre motorway tunnel linking Sydney’s M1 and M2.
The project is expected to reach financial close by the end of 2014, after which construction should start almost immediately.
Mr Charlton said it was too early to say if Transurban would be interested in the proposed M9 project west of Sydney, linking the Central Coast and Illawarra.
Transurban securities were down 4.5 cents at $7.605 at 1530 AEST.
TRANSURBAN PROFIT BOOSTED BY HIGHER TOLL ROAD TRAFFIC
* Net profit of $252m, up 44.5 pct from $174.5m in 2012/13
* Revenue of $1.15 billion, down 3.8 pct from $1.2b
* Final distribution of 18 cents per security, up from 15.5 cents