Abertis manages in Brazil through its subsidiary Arteris nine toll roads concessions, with a total of 3,250 kilometres, which consolidates it as one of the largest operators of toll roads in the country. Its assets portfolio is divided between concessions in the state of São Paulo – Autovias, Centrovias, Intervias and Vianorte – and five concessions on the Federal network – Autopista Fernão Dias, Autopista Régis Bittencourt, Autopista Litoral Sul, Autopista Planalto Sul and Autopista Fluminense. They account for a 17% share of the market for toll roads in the country.
The situation of political and economic instability in Brazil has meant significant challenges for Arteris over the course of the year. Traffic has been affected by the slowdown in industrial activity with falls in the heavy vehicles segment. By contrast the figures show a slight improvement in the case of light vehicles.
The company’s commitment to a new management culture increasingly focused on efficiency by seeking synergies and simplifying processes has enabled a reduction in costs while maintaining levels of quality and safety. This has kept Arteris’s key figures of revenue and adjusted EBITDA in line with results in 2014.
In the financial area Arteris has successfully closed several corporate bond issues totalling 850 million reais. These figures show the overall resilience and attractiveness of the company to investors in an adverse economic cycle in the region.
In addition Arteris has continued its ambitious plan for improvement and modernisation of its infrastructure. In the year it has invested near 1,800 million reais, in line with the records set in 2014.
Widening of the Avenida do Contorno in the section of the BR-101 toll road in the city of Niterói on the Autopista Fluminense in the State of Rio de Janeiro has been completed. The road is used by 100,000 vehicles a day and had until now been a complicated junction for local traffic.
Inland in São Paulo, the concessionaire Centrovias completed the construction of the new Jáu ringroad. The work involved the extension of 13 kilometres of service roads and new accesses. The investment in the project amounted to 37 million reais and has made the daily traffic of 30,000 vehicles a lot easier.
Meanwhile Autopista Régis Bittencourt, which runs the main connection between the state of São Paulo and the southern region and Mercosur, has entered the most complex stage of the works to widen the BR-116 in the Serra do Cafezal. The project is already 70% finished and full completion is scheduled for early 2017.
Work is also underway on building the Florianópolis ring-road and widening the BR-101 in the state of Rio de Janeiro, which involves widening a total of 176 kilometres of toll road, of which 51 are already in service.
In addition, in June the Brazilian government launched the second phase of its Logistics Investment Programme (LIP). As part of the scheme Arteris was authorised to start technical studies for new investments in federal toll roads with an estimated value of 5,200 million reais, a sign of the national authorities’ confidence in the ability of the company to implement strategic investments.
In the field of corporate social responsibility Arteris stepped up its road safety initiatives. In order to help teachers to run activities about traffic issues the “School Project” reached 250,000 students in the towns and cities in the areas around the toll roads managed by Arteris.
The company has also carried out campaigns to raise awareness among professional drivers, motorcyclists, pedestrians and cyclists about the importance of safe driving. In addition in September the 2nd Arteris Safety Month took place featuring an intensive programme of more than 900 activities.
Arteris also launched its “Basic Rules to Save Lives”, a list of behaviours to raise awareness about the importance of health and safety at work.
In its commitment to culture, Arteris took to São Paulo and Santa Catarina the biggest ever retrospective of the artist Joan Miró carried out in Brazil. The exhibition was one of the most important cultural events of the year, with record of visitors.
In 2016 Arteris will face increasing competition and a more complex environment in Brazil and hence will step up its investment plan and continue with its efficiency programme focused on innovation and increasingly modern management.