ICRA outlook stable for roads, airports

With toll collections witnessing a marked improvement on the back of increased movement of passenger and commercial vehicles, ICRA has maintained a stable outlook for the Indian road sector.

“Strong liquidity buffers and quick recovery in traffic has arrested major slippages in the credit profile of toll road assets,” Shubham Jain, senior VP, Corporate Ratings, ICRA, said.

“In FY2022, the traffic is expected to increase by 5% and toll rates [WPI-linked] by 3-4%, resulting in an overall increase in toll collections by 14-15% on a low base in FY2021 [given the impact of toll suspension in first 20 days of April 2020],” he said.

However, ICRA has assigned a negative outlook to the airports sector.

“The path to recovery in case of airports is longer; domestic air travel is expected to recover back to pre-Covid levels by FY2023 and the international sector by FY2024,” Mr. Jain said. “The air traffic is expected to pick up gradually, reaching to almost 80% of the pre-Covid levels in FY2022, resulting in a revenue growth of 106% in FY2022,” he added.

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