Port operator International Container Terminal Services Inc. said Monday net income rose 3 percent in the first quarter to $54 million from $52.4 million a year ago, supported by an improvement in international and domestic trade.
ICTSI attributed the higher net profit to the continued margin improvement at Contecon Manzanillo S.A. in Manzanillo, Mexico and Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana S.A. de C.V in Puerto Cortes, Honduras, as these two container terminals entered their second full year of commercial operations.
ICTSI booked a $13.2-million one-time gain in January 2014 from the sale of non-core asset when it divested its holdings in Cebu International Container Terminal Inc.
The port operator handled consolidated volume of 1,982,773 twenty-foot equivalent units in the January to March period, or 13 percent more than the 1,757,095 TEUs it handled in the same period in 2014.
“The increase in volume was mainly due to the improvement in international and domestic trade in most of the company’s terminals, new shipping lines and services, continuing volume ramp-up in the company’s terminal operations in Mexico and Honduras, favorable impact of terminal consolidation at Yantai, China, and the contribution of the company’s new terminal in Basra, Iraq which began commercial operation in November 2014,” ICTSI said.
Operating expenses increased 11 percent in the first three months to $119.7 million from $108.2 million recorded in the same period in 2014.
ICTSI said the increase was driven by the expenses and start-up costs of the new terminal in Iraq and projects in Australia, Nigeria and Democratic Republic of Congo, higher manpower costs arising from volume growth and government-mandated and contracted salary rate adjustments in certain terminals and increased business development activities.
Capital expenditures in the first quarter reached $64.2 million, or 12 percent of the $530 million capital expenditure budget for 2015.
The capex for the year is mainly allocated for the completion of development at new container terminals in Mexico and Iraq, capacity expansion in terminal operation in Manila, and to start the development of the new terminals in Democratic Republic of Congo and Australia.