Home » Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Higher costs sink earnings of Harbor Star
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Philippine-based tugboat operator Harbor Star Shipping Services, Inc. reported a net income of P82.657 million for the first nine months of the year, down 28% from P115.369 million a year ago to due to higher cost of services brought about by its acquisition of additional vessels.

Revenue, however, improved to P668.608 million in the first three quarters, up 13% from the P594.293 million for same period last year.

In its filing with the Philippine Stock Exchange, the newly listed Harbor Star said cost of services rose mainly due to depreciation expenses almost doubling to P111.1 million from P60.7 million; the cost of fuel and lubricants jumping to P105.7 million from P78.8 million; outside services shooting up to P35.5 million from P14.9 million, and personnel cost from P53.1 million to P70 million.

The costs spiraled after the company acquired additional tugboats/vessels in the first quarter and chartered more tugboats to meet operational requirements.

In a text message to PortCalls, Harbor Star corporate planning analyst Ruth Dianne So said the tug operator assisted 3,810 vessels for the first nine months.

For the same period in review, revenue from the salvage business slipped 51% to P19.8 million from P40.8 million a year ago.

Harbor Star said it had salvaged Barge Wantas VII in the second quarter of the year. As of Sept. 30, there were no major salvage projects undertaken.

For the third quarter alone, the firm’s net income dropped 37.6% to P31.144 million from P49.88 million in the same period last year.

Revenue rose 13.2% to P241.814 million from P210.002 million, mainly due to the positive performance of its towing, lighterage and harbor assistance services, Harbor Star said.

Revenue from towing services surged 64.08% to P14.2 million from P5.1 million in the same quarter last year. Lighterage and harbor assistance services likewise improved by P29.7 million and P57.2 million, respectively.

Company president Geronimo Bella Jr., in an earlier interview with PortCalls, said Harbor Star was considering expansion in Malaysia and Indonesia, as well as in Vietnam, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea.

In 2012, the tugboat operator acquired a 45% stake in Malaysian marine services company Peak Flag Sdn. Bhd. and is looking to offer harbor assist services in certain Malaysian ports.

Harbor Star is the sole harbor assistance provider for Manila International Container Terminal since 2007.

It owns and operates a fleet of 27 tugboats deployed in 12 base ports across the country in addition to one anchor-handling tug supply vessel, three barges, a cargo vessel, and an oil spill response vessel.––Roumina M. Pablo

Photo from www.harborstar.com.ph

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