Vinci rating hints at long-term pain

By Mike Hayes08 April 2020

Gatwick-845

Vinci has a majority shareholding in the UK’s London Gatwick airport

Credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has classified concessions and construction company Vinci as Stable, down from its previous Positive rating, in its latest outlook revision.

As recently reported by KHL, Vinci has given notice to its shareholders that it will not be able to meet its revenue targets for 2020, due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The group is responsible for 45 airports worldwide, none of which are expected to be fully operational during the crisis. Vinci reported it had seen a fall in passenger numbers of approximately 40% in the first three weeks of March.

The company’s toll roads business also experienced a 16% drop during the same period.

In its ratings commentary, Fitch said Vinci’s “unparalleled” liquidity position provided it with a solid buffer against the immediate effects of the crisis, as well as a more protracted downturn. For this reason, Vinci has been given a rating of ‘A-‘.

However, the agency said that, as well as expecting Vinci’s leverage to increase “sharply” in 2020, it also forecast elevated leverage between 2021 and 2023.

Fitch added that, should the severity and duration of the outbreak continue over a longer period than currently forecast, it would revise its rating accordingly.

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