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Italian road and airport operator Mundis eyes expansion in India and Australia -Dec 06, 2023 at 4:59 pm

Italian road and airport operator Mundis eyes expansion in India and Australia -Dec 06, 2023 at 4:59 pm

Italian infrastructure group Mundis aims to strengthen its presence in the tolls sector in the US, Chile and Europe, and plans to expand in India and Australia, its CEO said.

Mundis, controlled by the Benetton family’s holding company Edizion, formerly known as Atlantia, mainly operates motorways through Spanish toll road group Abertis, and also operates airports.

It acquired Autovia del Camino in northern Spain and won a $2.85 billion tender to operate four new toll roads in Puerto Rico.

Mundys, in which US investment fund Blackstone has a minority stake, is currently exploring the potential of Australia and India, although it is yet to decide what to do in these markets where its exposure is limited.

“We are still evaluating and the final outcome is not clear,” Andrea Mangoni told Reuters in his first interview since becoming Mundis CEO in April.

Mundys also wants to expand into airports it already controls Fiumicino and Ciampino in Rome, as well as Aeroports de la Cรดte d’Azur, which has three airports in the south of France.

“Our goal is to have a very balanced portfolio of airports,” he said of the group, noting that revenue from toll roads is five times that of airports.

After growing more than 31.4% in the first 10 months of 2023, the group expects airport passenger numbers to reach 2019 levels next year, Mundys CEO said.

Profit

Mangoni said traffic on the toll roads increased by 3.1 percent in the first 10 months, and a similar increase is expected next year.

Mr Mangoni said Mundis’ 15% stake in Ketlingen, operator of the Channel Tunnel linking France and Britain, was an important asset and he had no intention of selling it.

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He said the group sold AB Concessoes in Brazil in November to boost profits, but the South American country remains important to the group.

“We don’t want assets in the portfolio that are going to reduce our profitability,” he said.

Mundis’ total turnover rose 21% to โ‚ฌ6.5 billion in the first nine months of the year, while core profit rose 15% to โ‚ฌ3.8 billion, driven by an 8% increase in transport and average fares combined for inflation adjustments.

Its net financial debt is about 28 billion euros. (Reporting by Elisa Ansol; Editing by Keith Weir and Alexander Smith)