The country's largest terminal operator will boost charges 20 percent beginning next month in what it says is a move to offset higher costs.
International Container Terminal Services Inc. said 10 percent will be added Jan. 15 to charges at its Manila International Container Terminal, with the rest later in the year.The Philippine Ports Authority granted a 20 percent rise in January 1998 to counter the depreciation of the peso against the dollar.
''Everything else went up. Operating expenses have gone up. Manila has one of the lowest handling rates in the world,'' a company spokesman said.
Some analysts say the first stage of the increase will add 30 percent to revenue.
As reported, ICTSI saw first-half profit slip, to 186 million pesos ($4.65 million) from 190 million a year earlier. Revenue spurted, to 2.9 billion pesos from 1.9 billion.
Volumes at its Manila base were down 22 percent in the half, to the equivalent of 354,121 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) from 432,120 TEUs in the 1997 period. Asia's economic malaise has sapped imports.
Analysts are forecasting a net profit of 400 million pesos for the company this year, a 38 percent rise from the 290.3 million of 1997. In 1999, profit is expected to rise, to 550 million pesos.
Nearly half the third-quarter revenue of 1.16 billion pesos was generated by ICTSI International Holdings Corp., the subsidiary that manages overseas operations. They have been the mainstay of profit in the last year or two.
The company aims to double foreign operations to 12 sites in the next two years.
Buenos Aires Container Terminal Services SA in Argentina and Internacional de Contenedores Asociados de Veracruz SA de CV in Mexico posted combined earnings of 178 million pesos in the first half, up from 161 million a year earlier.
The South American arms handled 428,562 TEUs in the half, an increase of 17 percent from the 366,862 of last year.
In Saudi Arabia, the new Dammam terminal known as International Port Services Co. handled 298,259 TEUs since operations started last December.
Mexico's Ensenada Internacional Terminal SA de CV recently took delivery of two Panamax quay cranes as it moved nearer opening. The other new venture is at Karachi International Container Terminal at Pakistan's main port.