April 23, 2020 / 4:21 PM / a month ago

Vinci sees worsening revenue drop in the months ahead

The logo of Vinci is pictured at the company's headquarters in Rueil-Malmaison near Paris, France, April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

PARIS (Reuters) - Motorways and airports operator Vinci (SGEF.PA) said on Thursday its revenues would fall sharply in the months ahead, after sales remained stable year-on-year in the first quarter, boosted by the acquisition of a majority stake in Gatwick airport.

The French firm said revenues were flat at 9.7 billion euros (8.48 billion pounds), and down 3.3% on a comparable basis, when stripping out purchases.

Government-enforced confinement orders to contain the coronavirus outbreak in France and elsewhere weighed on its motorways business by the end of the first quarter, Vinci said.

Road traffic was currently down 80%, while traffic at the group’s airports was down more than 90%.

Its contracting and construction businesses were also hit by the pandemic as work on sites ground to a halt. Vinci said it was hoping to restart operations at some construction sites in France before the end of April.

The company said it had a total of 15 billion euros of liquidity at the end of March, with the amount set to rise to over 18 billion euros as it increases the size of a credit line signed with banks at the start of April.

Vinci said it had not yet decided whether or not to suspend its dividend payments, as some firms have done.

Reporting by Sarah White; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle, Kirsten Donovan

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