TOLL road owner Macquarie Atlas Roads says it might be able to shrug off a first-half loss to declare a distribution early next year.
The net loss of $75.2 million for the six months to June 30 was an improvement from its $106.4 million loss in the previous corresponding period.
It was partly due to its share of losses from co-owned toll roads overseas.
Macquarie Atlas Roads' preferred measure of performance, proportionate EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) rose by 3.5 per cent to $244.8 million.
Proportionate EBITDA reflects the results of the roads portfolio in proportion to the group's beneficial ownership interest.
"As previously foreshadowed, Macquarie Atlas Roads did not declare a dividend for the six months to June 30, 2012," the toll road operator said. "Based on the current outlook, Macquarie Atlas Roads anticipates being able to declare a dividend in the first quarter of 2013." Macquarie Atlas Roads has interests in six toll roads in the US, the UK, Germany and France.
Macquarie Atlas Roads was formed from the 2010 restructure of Macquarie Infrastructure Group into two separately listed toll road companies.
The company's share of net losses from its portfolio of roads increased to $33.4 million in the first half of 2012, compared with a $17.3 million loss in the previous corresponding period.
The total loss of $33.4 million comprised a loss of $26 million on the Autoroutes Paris-Rhin-Rhone toll road in France compared with a profit of $11 million in 2011.
Macquarie Atlas Roads said revenue from its roads rose by 1.4 per cent to $330.8 million in the first half of 2012 despite a 1.9 per cent fall in traffic volumes. Revenue was boosted by toll increases.