Red-chip GZI Transport, the listed infrastructure arm of the Guangzhou municipal government, says it should be able to beat its profit forecast of at least $143 million for this year because of robust growth at its toll roads. Deputy chairman Yin Hui said the performance of the recently-opened Humen Bridge was below expectations, but double-digit growth in the revenue and traffic flow at the remaining four toll roads in operation would more than compensate for the shortfall. The company halved the toll fee at the Humen Bridge three days ago to match the ferry fee and succeeded in boosting traffic flow up to 40 per cent. However, it is still about 30 per cent below the projection in its listing prospectus. Mr Yin said the $415 million consideration for the proposed purchase of controlling interests in three road projects in the Guangzhou area would be funded through internal resources. The company has more than $1 billion, most of it unused proceeds from its spin-off from Guangzhou Investment Co in January this year. It expected the three toll roads, Guanghua Highway, Guangcong Highway and Provincial Highway 1909, would yield an internal rate of return of 20 per cent. The company was negotiating with the Guangzhou municipal government for the purchase of more toll road projects. Mr Yin said the company had decided it would only consider the purchase of a section of National Highway 105 and National Highway 107 when the sections could provide better returns. He said the company was negotiating with Cheung Kong, Hopewell and other companies on investing in a section of Guangzhou's southwest ring road, but that the terms had not yet been finalised. The city government would need to invest about 16 billion yuan (about HK$14.8 billion) in road projects according to its Ninth Five-Year Plan (1996-2000).