Acsa seeks construction partners for African projects

THE Airports Company SA (Acsa) is looking to partner with construction companies in SA and in Africa in a bid to increase its footprint in Africa and diversify its mainly aeronautical revenue sources.

State-run Acsa was good at designing airports but was not a construction company, said CEO Bongani Maseko, speaking at the company’s results announcement in Johannesburg.
Mr Maseko said Acsa had to follow the global trend of airports diversifying revenue sources.
"So we would team up with local construction companies in SA and in countries on the continent. Some countries would say bring your own construction companies to partner with ours. Acsa would bring aviation expertise," said Mr Maseko.
In 2012 Acsa won a bid for a 20-year concession for the expansion, maintenance and operation of Brazil’s busiest airport, Guarulhos in São Paulo.
This came six years after Acsa won a bid for a 30-year concession for the modernisation of India’s Mumbai airport.
The aim of its new regional expansion plans was for the company to have 53% of its revenue coming from nonaeronautical operations by 2020.
In the year ended March, 37% of Acsa’s revenue came from non-aeronautical operations.
The bulk of the company’ s revenue came from aeronautical operations in the form of tariffs on aircraft landing and parking, and passenger service charges.
Last week Acsa warned that a 42% drop in tariffs, resulting from a proposed draft permission gazetted by the Department of Transport, would see it breaching covenants with lenders and defaulting on its debt book of R11bn.
The company would have to ask the government for a bail-out or guarantees if it were forced to take a massive cut in tariffs, it said.
Acsa needs higher tariffs to pay back the costs of airport upgrades done ahead of the 2010 soccer World Cup, which resulted in its debt burden rising to R18bn.
The Department of Transport has said the proposed 42% drop in tariffs was a "clawback" and a draft that was up for consultation.
A clawback, in the case of Acsa, happens when it has collected tariffs with the aim of making capital investments, which in the end do not take place.
The result is it reimburses its clients — the aviation industry — on tariffs paid.
Acsa has proposed a drop in tariffs of 7.5% for two years.
On Tuesday it reported its second-highest profit after tax since it was established in 1993, of R1.6bn. Last year it reported profit of R1.7bn.
The company has a planned capital expenditure programme of R8.9bn, which will include realigning the runway at Cape Town International Airport and terminal refurbishing at OR Tambo.
Mr Maseko said airlines would suffer if Acsa could not make the capital investments it needed to.
"Comair and SAA have ordered new aircraft. There are new entrants coming into the market. If we don’t provide certain airfield and parking capacity, where will these aircraft park?" he said.
RMB Credit analyst Elena Ilkova said Acsa had stuck to the plans it had announced over the past two years. However, she said tariffs were outside its control.
"The problem Acsa has now is a problem we have in SA between regulated entities and their regulators," she said.
"Acsa is on track to do what it has said it would. If the tariff issue is not fixed, then we should worry," Ms Ilkova said.
Source :

Posted on : 30 Nov,-0001

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