To the independent authority, the agreement that the concessions were signed with the State in 2015 will cost 500 million euros more for motorists.
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” I am not an attorney, I cannot quote figures. “ Bernard Roman, the new president of the regulatory Authority of railway operations and road (Arafer), does not want to revive the controversy between the motorway companies to the health, flourishing to motorists trapped by rising prices of tolls.
It is, however, what emerges from the synthesis of the first accounts of dealers published on Tuesday 6 December by the independent authority since its appointment on 20 July. With a side of dividends that are more than double and the other rates climbing more than expected, with the approval of the government.
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Wanting to ” to enlighten public decision-makers “ and inform the users, the Arafer has analyzed the consequences of the price freeze in 2015. And surprisingly, this measure is supposed to benefit the motorists will ultimately have the opposite effect : the additional costs related to the catch-up is estimated at 500 million euros over the twenty years to come, until the end of the concessions.
parliamentarians held at the gap
To put pressure on motorway concessions, including the high level of profits was criticised by the competition Authority, the government decided to block for one year the price of the tolls of the seven historical societies : ASF, Escota, Cofiroute, APRR, Area, Sanef and SAPN. Such was the condition imposed by Ségolène Royal, the minister of the environment, to unlock the recovery plan of € 3.2 billion proposed and funded by the dealers.
After a seven-month standoff, an agreement was reached in April 2015. The duration of the concessions was extended from two and a half years, and increases in specific rates between 2019 and 2023, decided to compensate for the shortfall of the gel of 2015. In its report, the Arafer note :
” This catch-up over five years translates to a toll increase than would normally be expected in the 1st February 2015 : + 0,23 % + 0,82% according to dealers. the in The end, users will pay eur 500 million (…) to offset the cost of shift in perception of tolls by the concessionaire. “
This is more like an overcompensation to a clearing.
to achieve this result, the Arafer has built his own script, ” the State has refused to disclose the rate assumptions used to conclude this agreement “, she says. ” I cannot accept “, insists Mr. Roman, a former socialist deputy in the North. the ” If I was a parliamentarian I would not be very satisfied “, all the more that mps and senators have not been aware of the memorandum of agreement.
If the ministry of transportation has nothing to release, the motorway companies have proven to be more cooperating with the Arafer. They have shown that the ranges are negotiated with the State at the time would be slightly less than those calculated by the authority.
Read also : Rise in the price of the freeways : a plan to 1 billion euros financed by the communities and users
dividends that have ” more than doubled “
Despite the freezing of prices, the year 2015 has been lucrative for the concessions. The turnover grew by 2.5 %, to € 9.4 billion, and earnings of 16.5 %, to $ 2.2 billion. The extension of concessions has led to a sprawl of depreciation and an improvement in the operating income.
” The cash flows operating generated have enabled the distribution to shareholders of dividends, the amount of which has more than doubled “, reports the Arafer. They have in effect increased by 127,5 %, to $ 3.3 billion in 2015, and are higher than the earnings of the sector.
According to the authority, this means ” the choice of financing policy, which are beyond the scope of analysis of this synthesis “. For Bernard Novel, ” it is not to throw the stone to the concessionary companies or to the government “, just expose the data in the name of transparency. the ” The independence allows us to do so “, he adds, thereby following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Pierre Cardo.
Read also : Pierre Cardo leaves the Arafer after having proven its independence