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COVID-19 takes a big bite out of Highway 407 traffic, revenues and profits

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TORONTO — An increase in COVID-19 infections and restrictions in the Toronto area have resulted in a dramatic reduction in traffic on the Highway 407 toll road.

The company that operates the freeway, 407 International Inc., says a 44 per cent drop in traffic volumes in the first quarter of the year had a severe impact on its net profits.

Total trips over the three months ended March 31 decreased to 13.08 million from 23.5 million, while total vehicle kilometres were 256.1 million, down 48 per cent from 490.8 million a year earlier.

Overall, net earnings plunged to $3.7 million from $114.5 million in the first quarter of 2020 when the pandemic began to have an impact.

Revenues were $169.1 million, down 41.2 per cent from $287.8 million.

The company says it expects traffic volumes will improve as vaccinations ramp up across the province.

In 2020, 407 International earned $148 million on $908.6 million of revenues, down from $575.7 million on $1.51 billion of revenues a year earlier.

Highway 407 is owned by subsidiaries of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (50.01 per cent), Ferrovial S.A. (43.23 per cent) and SNC-Lavalin Inc. (6.76 per cent)

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 22, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SNC)

The Canadian Press