INTERNATIONAL Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) saw its third-quarter net income attributable to equity holders grow by 23% to $69.2 million, after it benefitted from cost preservation measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, its top official said.

“Our actions, together with improvements in global trade, a diversified portfolio, and high levels of customer service have helped to deliver an improved performance compared with the same period in the previous year,” ICTSI Chairman and President Enrique K. Razon, Jr. said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday.

The listed global port management company also reported a 7% improvement in its gross revenues for the third quarter to $379.3 million.

The company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) grew 13% to $226.8 million.

Also for the third quarter, ICTSI’s total consolidated throughput was 3% higher at 2,626,542 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) compared with the 2,548,175 TEUs last year.

For the nine months ending September, ICTSI posted gross revenues of $1.10 billion, 0.3% lower than the $1.11 billion it reported in the same period last year.

The decline was due to the “generally lower trade activities globally mainly as a result of the lockdown restrictions imposed by most governments to try to address the rising infection rate of the COVID-19 virus, partially tapered by the contribution of ICTSI Rio, tariff adjustments and new services at certain terminals,” the company said.

ICTSI handled a consolidated volume of 7,426,307 TEUs in the first nine months, 20% less than the 7,590,090 TEUs handled in the same period in 2019.

“The decrease in volume was primarily due to the decline in trade activities which resulted from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global trade and lockdown restrictions,” it said.

The company also said it had spent $128.6 million in the first nine month of the year, mainly for the expansion projects at Manila International Container Terminal in Manila, Philippines; Contecon Manzanillo S.A. in Manzanillo, Mexico; Contecon Guayaquil S.A. in Guayaquil, Ecuador; Basra Gateway Terminal in Umm Qsar, Iraq; and ICTSI DR Congo in Matadi, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The company had reduced its capital expenditure plan for 2020 to about $160 million due to the pandemic crisis.

“The pandemic continues to present uncertainties and we are very mindful of how unpredictable the environment is, as certain parts of the world move to a secondary lockdown, and we remain cautious. However, ICTSI is well positioned to benefit further should global trade continue to show signs of recovery, underpinned by our stringent cost management, ability to swiftly respond to changing situations and our diverse geographical presence,” Mr. Razon said.

Shares in ICTSI on Wednesday closed 0.43% higher at P115.50 apiece. — Arjay L. Balinbin