Kapsch Sees Third Quarterly Loss on South Africa Toll Delays

Kapsch TrafficCom AG, the Austrian maker of road-toll systems, expects a third straight quarterly loss because of repeated delays to the start of a project in South Africa’s Gauteng province.

Profit in the three months to Dec. 31 will be on a similar level as in the first and the second fiscal quarter, Vienna-based Kapsch said in a statement today. The company had net losses of 5.15 million euros ($6.9 million) in the second quarter and 5.93 million euros in the first. Both quarterly losses had already been caused in part by the delays in South Africa.

“The executive board came to the conclusion that revenues which were so far expected until the system start are no longer to be realized,” Kapsch said in its statement. “This update will burden the third quarter results, which will be released on Feb. 27.”

Kapsch has been the second-worst performer, after Telekom Austria AG, in the Austrian ATX Prime index in the last six months. While South Africa delayed and reduced tolls on systems operated by Kapsch amid protests by trade unions, the company also faced higher costs in Poland and a slow start of E-Z Pass on-board toll-calculating unit sales in the U.S., exacerbating the losses.

Kapsch fell 26 percent in the last six months to close at 42.845 euros today, while the 38-member ATX Prime rose 17 percent. The average estimate for net income this fiscal year is 14.3 million euros, according to the average of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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