SMC SLEX Inc. said Tuesday net income rose 46 percent in the first nine months from a year ago on higher vehicle traffic volume.
The tollway unit of San Miguel Corp. said net income reached P1.76 billion from January to September, higher than last year’s P1.20 billion.
SLEX said traffic volume showed healthy recovery in nine months and almost reached pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
“The easing of the lockdown restrictions and expansion of industrial areas in Southern Luzon which is part of the government’s continuous support in the decentralization drive to simulate business activities outside the NCR mainly drove the recovery in traffic volume,” SMC SLEX said.
The company’s toll revenue grew by 25 percent in the first three quarters to P3.98 billion from P3.18 billion a year earlier, reflecting the stable improvement in traffic volume.
“The increase mainly reflects the impact of the gradual re-opening of the economy and moving the country into granular lockdowns towards the end of third quarter,” SMC SLEX said.
Operating expenses amounted to P322.82 million in the first nine months, higher than P160.99 million in the same period last year.
“Operating expenses increased for managed fees and charges for shared services, repair and maintenance of the toll collection system and charges for the major RFID rollout for the mandatory cashless toll payments projects of the Department of Transportation, offset by lower local business taxes from lower revenue base in 2020,” SMC SLEX said.
SMC SLEX allocated P5.44 billion in capital expenditures this year, including P4.6 billion for Toll Road 4 project. TR4 is a four-lane toll road from Sto. Tomas in Batangas to Lucena City, Quezon.
The P26.1-billion toll road will shorten the travel time from Sto. Tomas, Batangas to Barangay Mayao in Lucena City from the usual three hours to just 45 minutes.
The project is expected to be completed by 2024. TR4 is a part of SLTC’s 30-year concession which will last until 2036.
The capital expenditure will also finance the tollway facility improvement, replacement of toll equipment, preventive maintenance for toll collection system or network enhancement project and others.