By James A. Loyola
International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) reported a 15 percent decline in unaudited consolidated attributable net income to US$44.1 million in the first quarter of 2018 from the US$51.7 million earned in the same period last year due to drag from its new terminals.
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange, the firm said revenue from port operations amounted to US$325.4 million, an increase of nine percent over the US$297.2 million reported for the same period last year.
The increase in revenues was mainly due to volume growth, tariff rate adjustments at certain terminals, new contracts with shipping lines and services, increased storage and ancillary services, and the contribution from the Company’s new terminals in Australia and Papua New Guinea.
Excluding the new terminals, consolidated gross revenues increased by six percent.
ICTSI handled consolidated volume of 2,325,540 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) for the first quarter of 2018, two percent more than the 2,272,647 TEUs handled in the same period in 2017.
The increase in volume was primarily due to continuous improvement in global trade activities particularly in the emerging markets, continuing ramp-up at ICTSI Iraq and ICTSI Democratic Republic of Congo (IDRC).
It was also boosted by contributions from Victoria International Container Terminal and South Pacific International Container Terminal Limited, the Company’s new terminals in Melbourne, Australia and Lae, Papua New Guinea, respectively.
This was tapered by the volume decline in Guayaquil, Ecuador and Karachi, Pakistan. Organically, consolidated volume growth was flat.
Consolidated EBITDA for the first quarter of 2018 increased one percent to US$147.8 million from US$147.0 million in 2017 mainly due the strong revenue growth combined with the additional benefits of the on-going group-wide cost optimization initiatives and positive contribution of the new terminal in Papua New Guinea.
The growth was tapered by the higher operating expenses mainly due to the fixed port lease expense in Melbourne, Australia.
Consequently, EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes depreciation and amortization) margin declined to 45 percent in the first quarter of 2018 from 49 percent in the same period in 2017.