Reporting Season Round Up: Ongoing lockdowns mean less people on the roads and Transurban is feeling the impact
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The latter of these companies is a toll road builder and operator and of today’s trio was the most affected by COVID-19 lockdowns.
While ultimately the company made a statutory profit of $3.27 billion, almost all of this came from the sale of its 50% stake in US toll roads.
The company’s Average Daily Traffic was down by 0.4% compared to FY20, a figure that increases to 7% excluding the contribution of the newly opened NorthConnex and M8/M5 East roads in Sydney.
While Sydney reported modest growth in ADT of 4.7%, even without its new assets, and Brisbane rose by 6.2%, Melbourne fell by 24.5% compared to FY20 and 33.5% compared to FY19 while North America fell by 13.3%.
The company however was confident things would get better as restrictions eased.
“Fortunately, experience has shown us that traffic rebounds quickly when restrictions are lifted although the rate of recovery depends on the length and nature of ongoing restrictions,” said CEO Scott Charlton.
Coal shipper Aurizon meanwhile had arguably just as much disruption from COVID-19 as Transurban did. Not only did it have to deal with the pandemic and associated shutdowns, but also China import restrictions.
Yet the company shook them off, recording results roughly in line with the year before. Its revenues fell by 2% from $3.065 billion to $3,019 billio,n but its earnings rose by 1% from $1.468 billion to $1,482 billion.
Although above-rail coal tonnages fell 6%, the bulk business grew its earnings by 27% and its network business grew 6%. It’s net profit after tax was $533 million, up from $531 million in FY20.
CEO Andrew Harding said the company had delivered a solid operational and financial performance.
“We expect coal volume growth of around 5% in FY2022, as markets recover and with Australian coal successfully redirected into alternative markets,” he said.
Suncorp, which not only owns Suncorp bank but several insurance brands including AAMI, Bingle, GIO and Vero, had the most stellar results of all today’s releases and shareholders responded with the most enthusiasm with shares rising by over 6%.
The company made earnings of $1.064 billion, up 42.1% from FY20 and a net profit after tax of $1.033 billion, up 13.1% from FY20.
Suncorp noted the operating environment improved but the outlook remained uncertain in light of the restriction in several Australian states.
“An effective vaccination program with maximum coverage is essential to reducing the frequency and severity of lockdowns and allowing the Australian and New Zealand economies to fully open up,” it said.