As regards activities pursued by the Stalexport Autostrady S.A. Capital Group, year 2022 was marked by the stabilization of the situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic and investments intended to reduce transaction time and increase the capacity of toll plazas. In the past year, the Group generated higher sales revenue and lower net profit. The Group is facing a number of investments related to the preparation of the A4 Katowice-Kraków motorway for its transfer to the public partner in 2027.
In 2022, the Stalexport Autostrady Capital Group generated sales revenue in the amount of PLN 413.9 million, which is approx. 15 percent higher than in 2021, whereas EBITDA of the Capital Group amounted to PLN 191.3 million and was approx. 7 percent lower than in 2021. The Group’s net profit totalled PLN 85.7 million and was approx. 10 percent lower compared to 2021 when it amounted to PLN 95.4 million.
Net profit decreased primarily due to nearly 53 percent higher own cost of sales (PLN -191.4 million in 2022 vs. PLN -125.1 million in 2021), which include the costs of establishing provisions for resurfacing of the A4 Katowice-Kraków motorway (which increased by nearly 400 percent, i.e. from PLN 19.7 million to PLN 78.3 million in 2022). Significantly higher costs of establishing provisions are related to the replacement of road surface on the entire toll section planned for the near future, i.e. by the end of the concession period in 2027, and higher prices in the construction sector. A public procurement procedure for the aforementioned work has been opened in January 2023.
The concessionaire also plans to carry out a number of other works on the motorway, so that the returned road does nor require any refurbishment and related financial expenditures for years to come. In addition to resurfacing, the modernization of the motorway drainage system along the entire concession section. The following will also be refurbished: road surface on three motorway junctions, all emergency passages, three flyovers along and above the motorway, and concrete surface on toll plazas. Furthermore, the concessionaire will construct additional travel service areas. Some of this work is already underway.
As regards the core activity of the Group, i.e. management of the A4 Katowice-Kraków motorway, average daily traffic intensity increased by 9.1 percent compared to 2021, i.e. to 46.8 thous. vehicles per day, including average traffic intensity of passenger vehicles of 38.7 thous. (up by 9.7 percent) and heavy goods vehicles - 8.1 thous. (up by 6.4 percent). The highest traffic intensity was recorded in August 2022 - with an average of 53.9 thous. vehicles per day. In light of higher traffic intensity and due to changes of toll rates for all categories of vehicles introduced effective as of 4 July 2022, toll revenue also increased by 15 percent compared to 2021, reaching the amount of PLN 409.2 million.
Activities intended to reduce transaction time and improve the capacity of toll plazas on the A4 Katowice-Kraków motorway were continued in the past year. Videotolling, i.e. toll collection based on licence plate recognition using mobile apps, has been expanded to include a new app - mPay. The organization of traffic was also changed during the year, allocating three additional gates in each direction on toll plazas in Mysłowice and Balice for drivers using automatic payment method.
As regards standalone results of Stalexport Autostrady S.A., sales revenue amounted to PLN 4 million in 2022 and was approx. 8.5 percent higher compared to 2021 (PLN 3.7). This revenue originates primarily from the lease if office and parking spaces in the office building in Katowice. Despite higher revenue, the Company’s net profit was approx. 15% lower compared to 2021 and amounted to approx. PLN 49 million. Net income was affected primarily by the 10 percent decline in financial revenue of the Company (PLN 56 million in 2022 vs. approx. PLN 62.5 million in 2021), the largest item of which are received dividends (approx. PLN 48.3 million in 2022 compared to PLN 62.1 million in 2021).
In 2022, Stalexport Autostrady Capital Group has borne a number of expenses for social purposes, making donations for causes related to healthcare for critically ill individuals from the Silesian region, supporting the victims of war in Ukraine, voluntary fire brigades and the National Fire Service, children from difficult environments, schools or cultural institutions.
Emil Wąsacz, CEO of the Management Board of Stalexport Autostrady S.A. and Stalexport Autostrada Małopolska S.A. until 28 February 2022:
After the year 2020-2021 during which we faced the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic, at the beginning of 2022 there was hope that Polish and European economy will return to the growth track from before the pandemic. However, in February of this year, this hope was dispelled by the military attack of Russia on Ukraine. Year 2022 passed in the shadow of that war as well as its economic and social consequences. Group companies provided financial and material aid to refugees and those remaining in war-torn regions. During the period of the largest wave of refugees, all vehicles with Ukrainian licence plate numbers were exempt from paying the toll on the A4 Katowice-Kraków motorway, which represented the main road corridor from Ukrainian refugees. Polish and foreign NGOs providing humanitarian aid were also exempt from these tolls. The exemption for these organizations was in effect until the end of 2022 and will remain in effect at least until 31 March 2023. The overall value of aid provided to Ukrainians and NGOs by the manager of the A4 Katowice-Kraków motorway - i.e. Stalexport Autostrada Małopolska S.A. - in the form of toll exemptions totalled more than PLN 5.5 million net in the previous year.
The economic effects of war did not remain without impact on our activity related to the management of the A4 Katowice-Kraków motorway.
The costs of building materials and services have risen significantly, thus directly affecting the amount of investment expenditures of the Group in 2022. They totalled nearly PLN 70 million, i.e. approx. 40% more compared to 2021, and included primarily construction work related to the modernization of motorway drainage system and culverts.
The value of investments planned for 2023 is PLN 112.4 million. A large portion of these investments will be focused on further modernization of the drainage system, whereas the remaining funds will cover the refurbishment of culverts, replacement of barriers, fencing and further modernization of the toll collection system. The costs of maintenance work will amount to PLN 148 million. The Company must still undertake the replacement of road surfaces, concrete surfaces at Toll Plazas, and the refurbishment of bridge structures and noise barriers.