Filipino operator International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) posted steady operational and financial results in the first quarter of 2018, with throughput reaching 2.33m teu.
This year-on-year volume growth of 2% was attributed to improvements in emerging markets such as ICTSI Iraq and ICTSI Democratic Republic of Congo.
The new Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) and South Pacific International Container Terminal, situated in Australia and Papua New Guinea respectively, were also credited for the increase.
However, falling volumes at ICTSI’s terminals in Guayaquil, Ecuador and Karachi, Pakistan constricted this growth.
Gross revenue jumped by 9% to US$325.4m, with volume growth, tariff rate adjustments, new contracts with shipping lines and increased storage and ancillary services all credited for the increase.
The strong revenue growth saw earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) grow by 1% to US$147.8m, although this growth was tapered by high operating expenses due to the fixed port lease at VICT. The EBITDA margin fell from 49% to 45%.
Net income attributable to equity holders plunged by 15% to US$44.1m.
Consolidated cash operating expenses shot up by 24% to US$129.1m, which was largely due to the costs of the new terminals in Australia and Papua New Guinea. Larger yard costs as a result of the increase in volume, an increase in the price of fuel and power rates at certain terminals, and the unfavourable translation impact of the Mexican Peso were also credited for the growth.
Of ICTSI’s US$380m capital expenditures budget for 2018, the operator spent US$68m, or 18%, in the first quarter of the year.
The budget is mainly allocated for expanding operational capacity in Manila, Mexico and Iraq; continuing the rehabilitation of the container terminal in Honduras; continued work in Papua New Guinea; and the completion of ICTSI’s new barge terminal project in Cavite City, Philippines.