RAZON-LED International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) saw its net income attributable to equity holders drop by 18% to $59.6 million in the first quarter due to lower operating income, increase in concession interest, and pandemic-related expenses.

In a regulatory filing Thursday, the listed firm said the net income decrease was partially tapered by the 10% decrease in equity in net loss of its joint ventures and an associate to $5.5 million from $6.1 million for the same quarter in 2019.

The decline in loss came as the company increased its share in the net income of Manila North Harbour Port, Inc. in April last year, while it decreased its share in net loss at Sociedad Puerto Industrial Aguadulce S.A., ICTSI’s joint venture project with PSA International Pte Ltd. (PSA) in Buenaventura, Colombia.

The global port developer and operator saw its gross revenues from port operations fell by 2% to $375.8 million in the January-March period from $383.8 million posted in the same quarter last year, dragged down by lockdowns and decline in trade activities, no thanks to the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as lower revenues from storage.

ICTSI’s total consolidated throughout for the quarter grew slightly by 1% to 2,508,986 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), driven by the contribution of its new terminal in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and new services at certain terminals.

Excluding the contribution of its Rio de Janeiro business, the company’s consolidated organic gross revenues would have decreased by five percent and its consolidated organic volume by 1%.

Consolidated financing charges and other expenses for the quarter grew by 17% to $33.2 million from $28.3 million in 2019 primarily due to COVID19-related expenses and the absence of capitalized borrowing costs related to the Phase 2 expansion project in Basra, Iraq last year.

“The effect of the virus was felt in the latter part of the first quarter and our volumes compared to the previous year were largely flat,” ICTSI Chairman and President Enrique K. Razon, Jr. said.

Mr. Razon noted that its Asia business delivered lower volumes compared to a year ago, while its EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) and America segments registered positive volume growth for the quarter, though, showed signs of weakness in March.

Considering the impact of the global health crisis, ICTSI has reduced its capital expenditure plan for the rest of the year to $100 million, mainly for the completion of ongoing expansion projects.

For the quarter, it spent $59.7 million for project expansions in the Philippines, Mexico, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“We have taken significant measures which include reducing our cost base and capital expenditure while seeking ways to increase our market share in certain markets. We continue to monitor the situation carefully so we can adapt our responses,” he said.

On Thursday, shares in ICTSI inched down 0.54% to close at P82.55 each. — Adam J. Ang