Profits rise 40% for Cork toll operator

THE private operator of the tolled €295 million Rathcormac to Fermoy bypass in County Cork had a 40% increase in operating profits, to €7.6 million, last year.

Accounts filed by Directroute (Fermoy) with the Companies Registration Office show the firm’s operating profits increased from €5.5m to €7.6m to the end of December.

The accounts do not provide the revenues generated by the tolled route, which costs motorists €1.90 and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) €6.

The road was constructed by Directroute Fermoy as part of a public private partnership (PPP) and opened in October 2006, eliminating one of the country’s worst bottlenecks.

The bypass provides motorists with 33km of dual carriageway and removed 17,000 vehicles a day away from Fermoy town centre, taking 30 minutes off peak time journeys.

According to the directors’ report, “revenues increased as anticipated in 2009 due to the completion of the Mitchelstown bypass in May 2009”.

It said: “Further increases are expected in 2010 as the company will benefit from a full year of revenue following the opening of the Mitchelstown bypass.”

It stated: “The project has been funded to a large extent by bank loans, which leads to a particular exposure to credit and interest rate risk.

“This is managed in non-speculative manner by appropriate hedging arrangements with a view to maximising shareholder value.”

A Directroute consortium recently completed the tolled €810m Shannon tunnel in Limerick, where it costs motorists €1.80 to use the tunnel.

Directroute is to operate the Rathcormac-Fermoy bypass up to 2034, when it will be handed over to the National Roads Authority (NRA).

The accounts show Directroute (Fermoy) pre-tax profits were €536,949, following a pre-tax loss of €1.76m in 2008.

The accounts show accumulated losses of €13.5m at the end of December.

The accounts show the toll road asset was valued at €172.7m at the end of December after depreciation was taken into account.

The Fermoy bypass is one of 10 PPP schemes undertaken by Government, which also includes the Shannon tunnel.

Directroute (Fermoy) is owned by Irish construction companies Lagan, Roadbridge and Sisk and international companies Kellogg Root and Browne (KBR), along with the Bank of Scotland and First Irish Infrastructure Fund.


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