Earnings of ICTSI surge by 77% in January-March

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SOUTH Pacific International Container Terminal (SPICT), a subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) in Lae, Papua New Guinea, took delivery of three new hybrid rubber tyred gantries (RTGs) last March. — COMPANY HANDOUT

INTERNATIONAL Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) reported higher earnings in the first quarter, driven by an increase in revenues from its improved performance in its operations in Melbourne, Australia and Buenaventura, Colombia.

The Razon-led port operator told the stock exchange Thursday its net attributable income grew 77% in the January to March period to $72.4 million, higher than the $40.9 million it recorded in the same period in 2018.

ICTSI attributed the increase in net income to the “strong operational and financial performance at VICT (Victoria International Container Terminal) in Melbourne, Australia, lower financing charges, and a significant improvement in the operations at Sociedad Puerto Industrial Aguadulce S.A. (SPIA)…in Buenaventura, Colombia, which posted a lower net loss share of $6.3 million compared to $8.9 million in the same period in 2018 as the company continued to ramp-up container volume….”

The company’s gross revenues from port operations stood at $383.8 million during the period, 18% up from the same period last year due to the increase in volume from port operations, tariff adjustments at some of ICTSI’s terminals and new contracts with shipping lines and services.

Adding to the increase in total revenue was the boost in profit from non-containerized cargoes, storage and ancillary services and the opening of new terminals in Lae and Motukea in Papua New Guinea.

ICTSI said its consolidated volume handled during the first quarter stood at 2,478,672 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), 6.6% up from the 2,325,540 TEUs it recorded in the same period in 2018 “primarily due to improvement in trade activities; new shipping lines and services; and continuous volume ramp-up at certain terminals.”

Cash operating expenses during the period rose 5% to $112 million, brought by “government-mandated and contracted salary rate adjustments at certain terminals; increase in information technology-related expenses; and full quarter cost contribution of the two terminals in Papua New Guinea.”

But ICTSI noted the increase was muted by the company’s efforts to optimize costs and the “favorable translation impact of Philippine peso expenses at Philippine terminals, Pakistani Rupee expenses at Karachi, Pakistan, Australian dollar expenses at Melbourne, Australia and Brazilian Reais based expenses at Suape, Brazil.”

ICTSI is earmarking $380 million for capital expenditures this year, which will be used for expansion projects in its terminals in Manila, Mexico and Iraq, acquisition of equipment and maintenance works. — Denise A. Valdez