By Cecilia Butini 
 

Italy's Atlantia SpA said late Tuesday that it swung to a loss for the first half of 2020 as lockdowns put in place to curb the coronavirus pandemic affected travel.

The infrastructure operator--which managed the highway viaduct in Genoa, Italy that collapsed in 2018--posted a loss of 772 million euros ($911.3 million) for the period, down from a profit of EUR594 million for the first half of 2019.

Total operating revenue dropped to EUR3.71 billion from EUR5.6 billion, it said. Atlantia generates income from motorway tolls, airport operators and airport concessions. It said the drop in operating revenue reflects a reduction both in motorway and in airport traffic during the pandemic.

Toll revenue fell to EUR1.16 billion from EUR1.76 billion in the first half of 2019.

Atlantia's decision to exempt motorists in the Genoa area from toll payment in the wake of the collapse of the Polcevera highway bridge in August 2018 resulted in a reduction of toll revenue of EUR7 million in the first half of 2020 compared with a EUR10 million decline in the same period last year, the company said.

Atlantia posted a loss before interest and taxes of EUR735 million in the first half, compared with earnings before interest and taxes of EUR1.54 billion.

The company said the traffic decline is affecting its ability to generate sufficient cash to fund planned investment, and that "it is not possible to predict how the situation will develop, or how long it will take to return to the group's pre-existing levels of traffic and of activity."

Atlantia estimated a EUR3 billion decline in revenue for the year.

 

Write to Cecilia Butini at cecilia.butini@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 05, 2020 04:39 ET (08:39 GMT)

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