THE Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) said first-quarter net profit fell 4% year on year to P2.259 billion despite increased revenue, which was offset by rising costs associated with improving and maintaining ports.
In a statement on Monday, the agency said expenses in the three months to March grew over 37% to P1.523 billion, amid a 644% surge in dredging expenses and a 117% rise in repairs and maintenance costs.
“Dredging as well as repair and maintenance costs comprise almost our entire expenses for the period, all aimed at making our ports efficient and more responsive to the demands of the times,” PPA General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago was quoted as saying.
Revenue was P3.783 billion in the first quarter, up 9% year on year, after a 183% rise in layup fees and 50% growth in storage fees. The PPA also realized an increase in fund management income of 26.6% to P30.41 million.
Mr. Santiago was quoted in the statement as saying the PPA is investing in ports to support the government’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
Ports serving Puerto Princesa, Eastern Leyte, Ilocos Norte, Occidental Mindoro, Batangas and Ozamiz are currently undergoing redevelopment. PPA said there are 45 port improvement projects in Luzon, 19 in the Visayas and 40 in Mindanao.
“Once completed, these projects will definitely boost our revenue and eventually our income all anchored on faster turnaround of vessels and cargo in our ports,” the statement quoted Mr. Santiago as saying.
PPA has set a net profit target of P16.18 billion for 2018.
In March the PPA announced that it will be remitting its highest-ever dividend of P3 billion to the government, up 54%, driven by its earnings from ports in Manila. — Denise A. Valdez