Øresundsbron Annual Report 2020

February 5, 2021 10:04 AM EST

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Freight traffic a bright spot in an eventful year for the bridge

With 4.8 million single road journeys and millions of train passengers, the Øresund Bridge continued to provide opportunities for people and businesses on both sides of the Øresund waterway in 2020. This is despite the fact that the link was impacted by the corona pandemic and a 38.6 per cent decline in road traffic compared to 2019.  

Freight traffic remained almost unchanged during the year, with car and coach traffic accounting for the decline.   

Øresundsbro Konsortiet’s profit before value adjustment totalled DKK 801 million, a decrease of DKK 480 million compared to last year.

Road traffic in the first ten weeks of the year was on a par with the previous year. However, Øresund Bridge traffic and revenue were affected by the pandemic for the rest of the year. Government restrictions and stricter entry rules combined with increased home-working, non-existent leisure trips and more virtual meetings all impacted traffic across the waterway.

"We can see that border controls, restrictions and more time at home have impacted traffic across Øresund.  But at the same time, an average of around 12,500 road journeys per day shows that the bridge continues to be an important link for many people and businesses. The year also marked the bridge’s 20th anniversary, but celebrations were adapted due to the pandemic,” says Linus Eriksson, CEO, Øresund Bridge.

Passenger traffic across the Øresund Bridge declined by 41.7 per cent compared to 2019 – including a decline in leisure traffic of 44 per cent, cash customers by 51.8 per cent and business traffic by 48.5 per cent. Commuter traffic saw less of a fall at 26.8 per cent.  

Freight traffic was almost at the same level as last year. The number of vans increased by 3.8 per cent, the number of lorries declined by 1.4 per cent while overall freight traffic declined by just 0.6 per cent.

"Freight traffic has continued to use the bridge throughout the pandemic, which is positive both for the Consortium’s bottom line and because vital deliveries have been able to continue in both countries. Our more attractive prices for Longer Combination Vehicles (LCVs) have made a positive difference to both companies and the environment,” says Linus Eriksson. 

During March and April, overall traffic fell by 60-70 per cent compared to the same period last year. From mid-May, traffic gradually began to increase again, with recovery continuing into late summer as the strict entry rules were partially eased. However, following the increased spread of infection and new restrictions, traffic declined again in the autumn.  

Despite the decline in traffic, the Øresund Bridge still has approximately 600,000 BroPass customers, which, according to Eriksson, shows that the will to travel across the bridge as soon as society opens up again remains intact. At the turn of the year, a vaccination programme was rolled out on both sides of Øresund, which has given rise to optimism for an upturn in traffic in 2021.  

Road traffic revenue fell by DKK 487 million to DKK 985 million. Profits totalled DKK 801 million before value adjustment, which is a fall of DKK 459 million compared to 2019. As rail revenue is indexed-linked, it was not impacted by the pandemic.

The Consortium’s operating expenses continued to fall – from DKK 259 million to DKK 249 million. Financing expenses were DKK 57 million lower and ended at DKK 122 million. The company’s finances remain robust and the payback period, with its long time frame of no later than 2050, is deemed to be unaffected by the year’s results.  

"Traffic and integration have been put back as a result of the pandemic. As the past year has shown, we need to establish predictability and simplicity for everyone on both sides of Øresund because there is still significant untapped potential in one common Øresund Region,” says Linus Eriksson.

Main items in the income statement (DKK million DKK)

 Jan-Dec 2020Jan-Dec 2019Development
Revenue, road9851.472-487
Revenue, railway5155123
Other income2227-5
Total income1,5222,011-489
Operating expenses-249-25910
Other operating expenses-2-2-
Operating profit9231,460-537
Financial items-122-17957
Profit before value adjustment8011,281-480
Value adjustment, fair value effect, net,*-317-459 
Value adjustment, foreign exchange effect, net*-3833 
Profit for the year446855 

*Value adjustment is an accounting item whereby financial assets and liabilities are stated at fair value, with ongoing accounting of the value adjustment in the income statement under financial items.  The fair value adjustment has no effect on the company’s repayment capacity.   

Road traffic development, 2020

 Traffic per day
Traffic per day
Traffic development
Traffic development
Passenger cars10,85118,620-41.7 %-7,770
BroPas Leisure3,7596,713-44.0 %-2,953
BroPas Business1,4092,974-48.5 %-1,565
BroPas Commuter4,0255,496-26.8 %-1,472
Cash1,6583,438-51.8 %-1,779
Freight traffic**1,6311,641-0.6 %-11
Lorries > 9 m1,3841,404-1.4 %-20
Vans 6-9 m2462373.8 %9
Coaches55161-65.6 %-106
Total12,53720,423-38.6 %-7,886

* Passenger cars include cars with trailers and motorbikes.  

** Freight traffic includes all freight transport above 6m because since 2019, the toll station has allowed for more comprehensive vehicle categorisation. 

Market share of Øresund traffic in 2020

 Market share in per cent
Passenger cars85.3 
Freight traffic > 6 m.58.7 

* Applies from 1 October 2019 to 30 September 2020, which is the most recent period for which data is available.

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