Travel restrictions hit SLEX H1

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    The tollway unit of San Miguel Corp. (SMC) reported an 88 percent decline in net income for the first half of the year, as travel restrictions imposed during the community quarantine resulted in lower toll revenues for the period.

    South Luzon Tollways Corp. (SLTC), operator of South Luzon expressway (SLEx), said net income in January to June stood at P99.2 million versus P829.6 million in the same period last year.

    SLEx toll revenues in the first semester amounted to P1.99 billion, 37 percent lower than last year’s P3.15 billion revenue, mainly due to the significant drop in traffic volume.

    Second quarter toll revenues dropped 58 percent to P674.7 million from last year’s P1.6 billion, reflecting the full impact of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

    Implementation of the ECQ starting March 15 until May 15 in the National Capital Region and several provinces in Luzon that restricted and allowed only essential travel has impacted traffic volume at SLEx during the period.

    However, traffic flow has shown a recovery after the ECQ was eased to modified ECQ from May 16 to May 31, and to general community quarantine starting June, according to SLTC.

    In the first half this year, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization dropped 43 percent to P1.46 billion from P2.58 billion last year. In the second quarter, it was down by 68 percent to P417 million, from P1.309 billion in the same period last year.

    SLTC is a joint venture between SMC’s MTD Manila Expressways Inc. and the Philippine National Construction Corp. primarily to engage in the rehabilitation, construction and expansion of the 36.1-kilometer SLEx from Alabang viaduct to Lucena, Quezon.