Profits treble for operator of €328m motorway

THE operator of the €328 million N4/N6 Kilcock-Kinnegad motorway increased its profits almost threefold on the tolled route last year, revealing results exceeded expectations.

The route was completed in December 2005 by a consortium under a public private partnership (PPP) that allows the operator, led by Spanish firm Cintra, to manage it until 2033.

Accounts filed by operator, Eurolink Motorway Operation Ltd, show profits increased by 171%, from €1.23m in December 2009 to €3.352m at the end of 2010.

The figures disclose that the company generated revenues of €22.9m last year — a 4% increase on the €22m generated in 2009.

According to the directors’ report, the “financial result exceeded expectations mainly because of savings in expenditure and a decrease in interest rates”.

Last year, the company paid the National Roads Authority €745,230 in respect of revenue share obligations under the PPP contract.

The 39km motorway is an extension of the Kilcock-Maynooth-Leixlip motorway on the N4/N6 leading out of Dublin.

The route forms part of the Government’s €18 billion plan linking regional cities to the capital, which was completed last year.

Motorists using the route must pay a €2.70 toll for cars and a €6.60 toll for trucks with six axles of more.

The route removed a notorious bottleneck at Kinnegad and saves 20 minutes for drivers using the N6 and N4 Galway and Sligo roads.

The filings show that the company recorded an operating profit of €12m last year.

The directors’ report said that “traffic volumes increased on prior years with average daily traffic increasing by 2.9%”.

“Toll revenues increased by 3.9% due to an increase in both overall traffic and in the percentage of heavy weight vehicles. Toll rates in 2010 have remained at the same level as in 2009.”

The figures show bank interest payments of €9.7m last year reduced the company’s profits to €2.3m in pre-tax profits.

The filings show that the company received a tax credit totalling €993,000 resulting in the overall profit of €3.3m.

The profit also takes account of non-cash depreciation costs of €7.4m, showing that cash earnings from the route totalled €10.7m.

The company, which had bank loans totalling €143.5m at the end of last year, employs 27 people to operate the tolled route at a wage bill cost of €1.6m.

Eurolink had €9.2m in cash at the end of last year.

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