Sluggish Industry Affects SAAM’s Earnings

Chilean port, towage and logistics services provider SAAM has seen its net income for the first quarter of 2017 plunge by 44.8 percent to USD 8.1 million, from USD 14.6 million seen in the corresponding period of 2016.

SAAM informed that its operating results for the period were also down by 20.5 percent to USD 23.4 million from USD 29.4 million reported in the first quarter ended March 31, 2016.

Additionally, the company’s EBITDA for the quarter stood at USD 49.3 million, down from USD 51.7 million, representing a decrease of 4.5 percent year-on-year.

The company said that the results are a reflection of the context facing the industry, marked by a sluggish regional economy, greater uncertainty in the international market and a consolidation trend among shipping companies, which continues to put pressure on rates for services used for foreign trade.

Despite a less active market, SAAM’s towage division reported stable results for the quarter. The company’s port terminals division reported poor performances from the ports in Chile, especially San Antonio and San Vicente, offset by strong performances in Guayaquil and Florida.

The company said that it plans to make a total of USD 85 million in consolidated investments, including equity-method associates, in 2017. Most of these investments will be in the port terminals division to finish expansion projects.

“We dealt with complex circumstances but, in our business, the outlook is long-term. We are completing important investments to expand the capacity of our terminals in Guayaquil, San Antonio and San Vicente. We also added a new port (Caldera in Costa Rica) to our portfolio early in the year and continue to explore and evaluate new business opportunities in the region,” Macario Valdés, SAAM’s chief executive officer, said.

SAAM added that its logistics division experienced a sharp drop in activity. This reduced activity, coupled with costs incurred to restructure and refocus its operations, negatively impacted earnings, the company informed.

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