Economic Efficiency

As a user-financed company, ASFINAG does not receive any additional funds from budgets and finances its annual investment programme on its own. Top infrastructure, i.e. better quality of life for people through economically justifiable investments – this is the focus of ASFINAG.

2017 was an economically successful year for the company: ASFINAG generated a profit of EUR 709 million, increasing the equity ratio to around 31 percent. The company also takes care to ensure that debt is repayable within the lifespan of the infrastructure – this value is currently at 15 years. In addition to this, ASFINAG was able to reduce its liabilities by EUR 130 million.

Top quality infrastructure is an investment in the future. We work on this with considerable skill, the highest level of know-how, efficiency and profitability. In 2017, the economy picked up significantly: This is all the more incentive for us to guarantee optimum road connections for people and the economy. The basis for this is the continuation of our successful path with stable revenues and a carefully planned investment strategy.

KLAUS SCHIERHACKL

ASFINAG Executive Director

Reduced debt for the third consecutive year

In 2017, again a debt reduction of 130 was achieved. This is the third year in a row in which ASFINAG has lowered its liabilities - in total 267 million since 2015. One reason for this is the positive development in toll revenues. As a result of the launch of major new construction projects, ASFINAG expects a moderate increase in debt in the coming years. In contrast, there is a larger network on the assets side.

By 2022, the maximum debt of EUR 12.1 billion will be reached. After this time, ASFINAG will strive for sustainable debt relief. The important thing here is that strategic goals such as “Annual net profit of more than EUR 300 million” and “Notional debt repayment duration less than 30 years” are respected over the entire period. Thus, ASFINAG ensures that it continues to be an economically sound company in the future.

Investors place their trust in ASFINAG: financing has never been more attractive.

ASFINAG is on an excellent path for economic development – an indicator for this is the great degree of investor confidence in bonds. In order to refinance maturing liabilities, ASFINAG issued a bond with a volume of EUR 750 million on the international capital markets in autumn 2017. Its term is seven years and annual interest rates are at a historic low of just 0.25 percent per year. Never before has ASFINAG been able to achieve such favourable conditions for long-term borrowing.

Despite this low interest rate, the bond was in high demand among investors. More than three times the amount needed by ASFINAG could have been sold. This proves once again the good reputation of ASFINAG on the capital markets and the confidence of investors in its economic performance.

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The economy boomed in 2017 and interest rates were very low. In this economically dynamic time, ASFINAG is a partner in which investors trust. Never before have there been such favourable conditions for long-term financing on the bond market. The excellent performance of ASFINAG has been well received on the markets and continues to fuel the already considerable degree of confidence that investors have in it.

GABRIELE CSOKLICH

Managing Director ASFINAG European Toll Service GmbH

Kilometre performance in the ASFINAG network rose to 31.5 billion kilometres

The economy in 2017 has developed well – this is demonstrated by a look at the development of traffic and tolls on motorways and expressways. Revenues increased in 2017 slightly to EUR 2.08 billion, EUR 1.35 billion of which just from truck and bus tolls. Heavy traffic increased by 3.4 percent, and ASFINAG recorded strong increases, especially on the main Tauern and Brenner corridor routes. More personal mobility, an increase in holiday travel by car and the booming economy are reasons for this.

ASFINAG is the engine of the economy and the job market

Better connections create optimum conditions for the development of the economy and the labour market. 956 million euros were invested by ASFINAG in motorways and expressways in 2017. These investments provide significant impetus for the economy and employment – this is shown by a study presented in 2017 by the Austrian Institute for Economic Research (WIFO) on the basis of the planned S 1 Vienna outer ring expressway. With the section of the S 1 from the Schwechat junction to Süßenbrunn – in combination with the S 1 Seestadt branch and the western section of the S 8 Marchfeld expressway – there will be an increase of 7,000 employees in ten years. Almost 3,000 additional jobs will be created in the vicinity of the new S 1 with the Lobau tunnel, up to 1,500 in areas along the Seestadt and up to 2,600 close to the S 8 Marchfeld expressway. Overall, the short-term but very strong employment effects during the construction phase are added to this. According to studies by the WIFO, these will be as many as 25,000 additional jobs.

EU funding for projects: the success story continues

Promoting greater road safety and the use of innovative technologies: These ASFINAG goals are also well received at European level. Within the framework of the European Union’s funding programme “Connecting Europe Facility – CEF”, ASFINAG was again able to gain grants in 2017. Specifically: The “Karawanken tunnel second tube” joint project of ASFINAG and the Slovenian motorway operator DARS is funded by the European Union with a value of EUR 17.7 million. EUR 13 million are attributable here to ASFINAG. The A 5 North / Weinviertel motorway (Schrick to Poysbrunn), which was also funded, was officially opened at the beginning of December 2017.

In the area of intelligent transport systems, the “Inframix” project received a grant of about half a million euros under the EU research funding programme “Horizon 2020”. The aim here is to prepare the road infrastructure so that in the future conventional and automated vehicles travel safely together.

There is no limit to road safety. Our projects are very well received at the European level and show that we are not only on a good path, but also well networked on the European level. Innovation is one of the trump cards of ASFINAG – subsidies for the future of automated driving clearly prove this. We want to continue to be a leading modern road operator in Europe.

RENE MOSER

Managing Director ASFINAG Commercial Services GmbH

One billion euros awarded on the best bidder principle

When awarding construction services, ASFINAG successfully uses the best bidder principle and, in 2017, extended the corresponding catalogue of criteria. Price is no longer the sole deciding factor when awarding a contract. Clearly defined quality criteria such as a longer warranty, a shorter construction period and a high proportion of skilled workers also contribute to the decision-making. In the previous year, ASFINAG already granted a volume of one billion euros following the new best bid principle introduced in 2015. Meanwhile, the list of criteria includes 31 points – including many social factors such as the number of apprentices and people over 50 on construction sites. The largest award procedures for this success model include, for example, the full expansion of the A 9 Pyhrn motorway in Upper Austria and the addition of a second tube to the Styrian Gleinalm tunnel. The goals of ASFINAG: even more quality in the construction projects, a longer service life of the infrastructure and lower maintenance costs.

Two new international providers for Austria’s truck toll system

Pay truck and bus tolls in several countries with just one device: ASFINAG has been a leader in this area on a European level for several years. Within the framework of the European Electronic Toll Service, EETS for short, it has been possible to use the Italian Telepass and DKV EURO SERVICE (DKV) from Germany to activate two providers for the Austrian toll system. This means it is no longer necessary for truck drivers to acquire the Austrian GO box, as the Telepass and DKV on-board devices can be used in Austria without any problem to pay the toll. As a result, ASFINAG is taking another important step to make paying tolls across borders even easier in Europe.

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Clean trucks continue to enjoy a bonus

The truck and bus toll system in Austria was newly regulated in 2017. Instead of the previous four-stage bonus-malus system along the EURO emission classes, there are only two basic kilometre tariffs, to which external costs for air pollution and noise pollution are added. This step is essential when it comes to true-cost pricing between the modes of transport. In 2018, an inflation-related tariff adjustment of one percent is planned. For ASFINAG it is important that the cleanest trucks will continue to benefit from a bonus. This means that Category VI vehicles pay two percent less than other trucks. For external costs, there are no other tariff adjustments. ASFINAG uses the income from the infrastructure toll on trucks and buses to finance the construction and operation of the domestic infrastructure as well as measures to increase traffic safety.

From Macedonia to Dubai: ASFINAG knowledge is coveted around the world

ASFINAG is one of the leading motorway operators in Europe and ASFINAG Commercial Services also provides its know-how abroad. The approach to electronic toll collection systems and their handling were the focus of consultancy services. In Macedonia, Romania and Slovenia, the local motorway companies were given expert advice on the implementation of new toll systems. In Germany and Poland, bidders were advised on the re-tendering of the local toll systems. However, expertise from Austria is coveted both in Europe and abroad.

For example, ASFINAG Commercial Services is currently working in Kazakhstan on developing a concept for a nationwide toll collection system. In addition, an order for the training and further education of employees of the local road administration could be won in Dubai. ASFINAG is a sought-after partner on the international stage.

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Traffic safety, toll systems and classic road management are global issues, because almost every country wants to handle traffic as safely and easily as possible. With our consultations, we are a sought-after partner worldwide when it comes to expertise in construction, operation and tolls. In doing so, we make our experience, our strategies and our know-how available – this makes us a consulting company that is in demand.

ANTON SIEBER

Managing Director ASFINAG Commercial Services GmbH

Greatest possible use of projects with the least possible effort

The evaluation of projects in terms of benefits and cost-effectiveness is becoming increasingly important. The goal is to ensure that the greatest possible benefit is guaranteed with the least possible effort. Thus, not only exclusively newly planned projects are subjected to an even more intensive examination, but also the possibility of a disinvestment is examined.

The orderly dismantling of dispensable and therefore no longer absolutely necessary investments can lead to economically positive effects in the medium term. This automatically means a lower capital commitment. It is therefore clear to ASFINAG that such a project evaluation is mandatory for project requirements management.

Best possible benefit with the least possible effort: In all areas, we make sure that the funds are used effectively and sustainably. After all, the money comes directly from our customers. It is our job to examine the benefits of all our plans and to implement them with the highest possible degree of profitability. In doing so, we also examine strategies such as disinvestment, i.e. the orderly dismantling of expendable assets, in order to only tie up money in investments that are both necessary and most useful.

STEFAN RESCH

Head of the Controlling, Cost Accounting and Toll Tariffs department, ASFINAG Holding