During a period of little building activity, construction group Ellaktor is boosting revenues from road concessions. According to figures presented by the company ahead of its 600 million euro bond issue, the increase in daily traffic on motorways, in which the company holds a stake in, has reached as high as 52 percent.
More particularly, the number of vehicles using Olympia Odos, the road connecting Athens with western Greece, has risen to 141,000 per day from 93,000 in 2016.
The second-highest growth rate comes from the Rion-Antirrion bridge, which is used by 10,500 cars per day, up from 9,300 per day, with a similar growth rate shown by Attiki Odos, a highway circling Athens.
Daily traffic on Attiki Odos, parts of which suffer from serious traffic congestion for several hours every day, rose to 233,000 in September from 211,000 in 2016.
A smaller growth rate has been booked for on the Maliakos-Kleidi highway, where daily traffic hit 66,000 vehicles in September versus 59,000 in 2016. This particular concession, however, will offer significant dividends to its owners as of 2025.
Aegean Motorway, which managed the Maliakos-Kleidi stretch, is 38.89 percent owned by Hochtief, with Aktor holding 22.22 percent, construction company Avax holding 23.61 percent and France's Vinci owning 15.28 percent.
Shareholders of Olympia Odos will have to wait until 2028 to be paid their first dividends. Olympia Odos is 29.9 percent owned by Vinci, while Avax holds a 19.1 percent stake. Hochtief, Aktor, and Terna each control 17 percent of the company.
In the case of Attiki Odos, experience shows that construction companies that take part in the management of highways can benefit from capital inflows even when traffic drops off as concession agreements mature and a large parts of loans have been repaid.
Revenues in 2018 for Attiki Odos, were much lower than in 2008, dipping to 186 million euros, from 248 million ten years earlier. But last year shareholders Ellaktor and Avax earned 78 million euros in dividends while in 2008 no dividends had been paid as that money had gone towards paying back debt.
Attiki Odos has the largest toll fees among the highways managed by Ellaktor. Next on the list is Olympia Odos with revenues of 104 million euros in 2018 and then Aegean Motorway with revenues of 74 million euros.