Mobility is key to economic development. Businesses need road, rail, shipping and air networks to transport goods and services to markets, while people need them to get to jobs and use basic services.
(World Business Council on Sustainable Development)
Our electronic toll roads and innovative technology indirectly aids the flow of commerce by getting people to work and by helping businesses deliver goods and services efficiently.
As one of Australia's Top 50 companies, the direct economic impacts of our business extends to our employees, investors, the community and the government through wages, dividends, sponsorships and donations, and taxes.
Transurban roads generate strong, inflation protected cash flows. In FY07, toll and fee revenue totalled $493.1 million, up from $404.1 million in FY06. Other revenues increased the FY07 total to $573.2 million. Operating and corporate costs were $178.6 million, compared with $173.7 million in FY06. The total costs of employee wages and benefits (including taxes, super, bonuses and Long Term Incentive payments) were $76.7 million.
The combination of higher revenues and lower costs (comparing assets held in both FY06 and FY07) produced a figure for Earnings Before Interest, Tax, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) of $394.6 million, up 38 per cent from $286.1 million.
The Group's net loss after tax was $151.2 million, a big increase on the previous year's figure of $60.9 million. However, the two figures are not directly comparable, principally because of a one-off taxation benefit in FY06 associated with the introduction of new international accounting standards (AIFRS), Group tax consolidation and the buyout of CityLink Concession notes as a result of the Monash-CityLink-West Gate corridor upgrade.
Transurban will continue to report accounting losses for several years, as we depreciate our assets. However, depreciation is a non-cash item. Depreciation is not relevant as Transurban has fixed concession lengths on all its assets.
All maintenance and repair costs for the life of the concessions are factored in to the cash flows of the business. Accounting losses do not affect our ability to pay cash distributions to investors. In FY07, this was $244.2 million, a 9.3 per cent increase on the previous year.
Transurban's distributions are underpinned by the free cash flow and the Group's capital management strategy announced in FY05. As revenues increase, the proportion of distributions funded by borrowings will fall to zero, assuming no changes in the Group's structure and assets.