The Courier-Mail

Transurban earnings rise but acquisitio­ns hurt

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Transurban chief executive Scott Charlton said the improved overall performanc­e of the company reflected investment in assets such as Queensland Motorways. It plans to lift payouts to investors as the company further integrates assets from Queensland.

“We have seen benefits from a continued focus on operationa­l efficienci­es within our networks,” he said.

“This has been compounded by the expansion of our portfolio through asset investment­s and the successful integratio­n of acquisitio­ns.”

The latest data for the June quarter show an average 15,000 extra motorists are using toll roads including the Clem7, Go-Between Bridge, Gateway Motorway and the Logan Motorway.

The company earns an estimated $1 million in tolls each day from its Brisbane roads. No figures are available for the recently opened Legacy Way.

Overall toll revenue over the past year, including the Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and US roads, climbed 39.6 per cent to $1.6 billion.

In Sydney, average daily trips climbed 7.7 per cent over the year helped by upgrades of toll roads. In Melbourne, daily trips rose 3 per cent and revenue by 7.8 per cent.

Transurban said the Queensland Motorways acquisitio­n had resulted in integratio­n and transactio­ns costs of $45 million but margins had improved since the purchase.

There had been an improvemen­t in traffic growth on its best performer, the Logan Motorway, in the second half of the year following the completion of rectificat­ion work on the road.

Morningsta­r senior equities analyst Adrian Atkins said the company would be satisfied with the performanc­e of its Queensland toll roads.

“The assets are performing as expected and the company has good technologi­es,” Mr Atkins said.

RACQ executive director of public policy Michael Roth said outer suburban toll roads such as the Logan Motorway were performing more strongly than inner city roads such as the Clem7, where motorists still had more choice in terms of routes.

Transurban shares closed yesterday down 13 , or 1.28 per cent lower, at $9.99.

The company announced a final partly franked dividend of 20.5 , up 2.5.

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