ATI sees signs of recovery as cargo volume goes up

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    Listed port operator Asian Terminals Inc. (ATI) is seeing trade recovery in the second half of the year, following the significant impact on profit and revenues during the first semester of the economic contraction triggered by the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.

    ATI has noted signs of trade recovery with its consolidated volume breaching the 100,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) mark in June, representing a 22 percent increase from the month prior.

    The trend was sustained in July with volume hitting nearly 117,000 TEUs for a 16 percent month-on-month growth.

    Looking ahead, William Khoury, ATI executive vice president, expressed his optimism.

    “Our company’s prudent cost management, the careful execution of day-to-day operations which is anchored on safety and efficiency, and our continuing investment on important port infrastructure projects will enable us to remain resilient amid these challenging times,” Khoury said.

    “Through these initiatives, we will sustain the steady flow of trade and ensure the safe passage of people and cargoes through our gateway ports, serving as our contribution to stimulating the Philippine economy,” Khoury added.

    A week ago, government economic managers reported the Philippines suffered its deepest contraction on record during the second quarter, amid one of Asia’s strictest lockdowns against the coronavirus which in turn resulted in restricted movements and weaker consumption.

    In a regulatory disclosure, ATI said net income in January to June this year decline by 43 percent to P1.15 billion, from P2.14 billion in the same period last year.

    ATI reported revenues six months into the year dropped 28 percent to P5.05 billion, from P7.04 billion in 2019, on account of lower container volumes resulting from the negative economic impact of the COVID-19.

    From January to June, Manila South Harbor handled nearly 460,000 TEUs of international boxes while Batangas Container Terminal handled over 113,000 TEUs, declining by an identical 29 percent compared to the same period last year, as global and regional markets continued to reel from the impact of the contagious virus, ATI said.