ASIAN TERMINALS, Inc. (ATI) said on Monday it will be spending around P6.9 billion this year, mainly for the acquisition of new cargo handling equipment and for some logistics infrastructure projects in Luzon.

“For 2021, ATI is investing an estimated P6.9 billion in step with its growth strategy and in line with its investment commitment with the Philippine Ports Authority,” the listed port operator said in a disclosure to the stock exchange.

The budget will be used to support the acquisition of “more modern cargo handling equipment and the development of related logistics infrastructure projects” in Manila, Batangas, Laguna and Cavite, it added.

The company noted its capital expenditures budget for 2020 was set at P10 billion, mainly for yard and berth development as well as construction of new facilities and equipment acquisition.

Developing more cargo storage spaces, offering ancillary services leveraged on its core ports business, and new port operations here and abroad are among the opportunities the company is currently exploring.

ATI saw its attributable net income for 2020 drop 20.4% to P2.95 billion.

Revenues from operations declined 17.8% to P10.96 billion last year.

“Revenues from Manila South Harbor’s (MSH) international containerized cargo operations and Batangas Container Terminal (BCT) decreased by 16.9% and 20.2%, respectively, compared to 2019 on account of lower container volumes resulting from the negative economic impact of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019),” it said in an e-mailed statement.

“Container volumes at MSH and BCT declined by 20.4% and 19.7%, respectively,” it added.

The company noted it handled more than 700,000 teus (twenty-foot equivalent units), 25% higher than the first half, in consolidated container volume from July to December. It closed 2020 with a volume of about 1.3 million teus.

ATI Executive Vice-President William Khoury said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted businesses and industries around the world at unprecedented proportions. But with discipline, teamwork, and prudent cost management, ATI has remained resilient, keeping our gateway ports viable and operational 24/7, which in turn kept commodities and cargoes flowing especially during this pandemic.”

“With the rollout of the government’s inoculation program, the lifting of government restrictions and the calibrated opening up of the economy, we are optimistic for a stronger year this 2021,” he added.

ATI shares closed 0.65% higher at P15.60 apiece on Monday. — Arjay L. Balinbin