RAZON-LED International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) on Thursday said it expects to spend about $250 million this year, mainly for its ongoing and new expansion projects, equipment acquisitions and upgrades, and maintenance requirements.

“The estimated capital expenditure budget will be utilized mainly for the completion of the expansion project at MICT (Manila International Container Terminal) in Manila, Philippines; the ongoing yard expansion at IDRC (ICTSI DR Congo) in Matadi, Democratic Republic of Congo; the new expansion project at VICT (Victoria International Container Terminal) in Melbourne, Australia; equipment acquisitions and upgrades; and for various maintenance requirements,” the company told the stock exchange.

Its 2020 capital expenditures (capex), excluding capitalized borrowing costs, reached $198.7 million, exceeding the reduced capex budget of $160 million.

The company attributed the increase to the additional capex from the new terminal in Kribi, Cameroon and the reinstitution of postponed capex in various terminals, “which demonstrated strong volume growth in the second half of 2020.”

ICTSI’s net income attributable to equity holders grew 1% to $101.8 million last year.

The company said it saw higher revenues (up 2% to $1.5 billion), lower cash operating expenses resulting from continuous group-wide cost reduction and optimization measures, positive contribution of a new terminal in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and lower equity in net loss of joint ventures.

However, it said the growth was “tapered” by an increase in interest on concession rights payable recognized at the new terminal in Cameroon and the full year impact of the new terminal in Brazil; additional impairment charges; and COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019)-related expenses.

The company’s EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) went up 6% to $876.8 million.

It handled a total volume of 10,193,384 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year, 0.2% higher than 10,178,018 TEUs recorded a year earlier.

ICTSI attributed the slight increase to the contribution of its unit in Rio de Janeiro, improvement in trade activities in the second half of 2020 with eased travel restrictions, and new contracts with shipping lines and services at certain terminals.

But that was “tapered by a decline in trade activities mainly in the first half of 2020” due to the pandemic.

“Excluding the contribution of the company’s new terminal in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, consolidated organic volume would have decreased by 2% in 2020,” it said.

ICTSI shares closed 1.66% lower at P118.80 apiece on Thursday. — Arjay L. Balinbin