Transurban annual results impacted by COVID-19 traffic reduction

Transurban reported a decrease of proportional earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EDBITDA) of 6.4 per cent to $1,888 million for FY20.

In it’s ASX release the company reported COVID-19 had impacted its FY20 performance with average daily traffic decreasing by 8.6 per cent across its portfolio.

The company’s Chief Financial Officer, Adam Watson has also announced his resignation effective from mid-November 2020. A global search has begun for his replacement.

Despite the impacts of the pandemic, Transurban reached completion of the new M4 tunnels, the Logan Enhancement Project and the 395 Express Lanes over the course of the financial year.

Transurban also opened the M8 tunnels and commenced tolling on the M5 East in July. It is set to open the NorthConnex in the coming months.

Chief Executive Officer Scott Charlton said challenging global operating conditions throughout the second half of FY20 due to COVID-19 had resulted in subdued traffic levels across Transurban’s portfolio, however gradual improvement was now evident in all markets with the exception of Melbourne.

“Transurban, like most businesses, has seen significant impact to our revenue as a result of COVID-19 and the associated government actions,” Charlton said.

“Pleasingly we have seen clear signs of improvement in most of our markets as government restrictions have been eased. However as evidenced by recent declines in traffic in Melbourne, we expect traffic to remain sensitive to government responses.”

Alongside the completion of three major projects, Charlton said Transurban continued to be in a strong position to pursue attractive opportunities emerging within its core markets, including the proposed M7 widening and M7/M12 interchange in Western Sydney.

Transurban is also continuing to monitor customer views on transport and mobility and has released a new research report, ‘Urban Mobility Trends from COVID-19’ which shares insights into the way people expect to work and travel going forward.

“For example, while we have made enormous strides in flexible working over the last few months, the office is far from dead. Over 85 per cent of survey respondents expect they will return to the workplace, saying it helps them maintain relationships with their colleagues and separate work from home life,” Charlton said.

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