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Rising fuel costs is a challenge for ATS Consolidated

PHILIPPINE shipping line ATS Consolidated, Inc. (ATSCI) posted a net loss of P257.5 million in the first nine months of the year, a 46% improvement over the P480-million loss year-on-year.

“Challenges in rising fuel costs and fierce competition remain eminent and the Company is working very closely with its parent, Nenaco (Negros Navigation Co, Inc), in increasing efficiencies and creating synergies in order to meet the challenges and ultimately better service its customers,” ATSCI said in a recent report to the Philippine Stock Exchange.

ATS registered revenues amounting to P9.5 billion, down 1% from last year.

Revenues from the freight and passage businesses grew 12% and 7%, respectively, from 2010.

For the first nine months of the year, ATSCI had 19 operating vessels versus the same period last year which saw seven vessels undergo regular maintenance and drydocking,

The supply chain business also grew with the trading business posting a 26% rise due to more principals.

Revenues of third-party logistics jumped 22%.

Total cost and expenses dropped 3% largely from lower overall operating and overhead expenses.

Fuel cost, the shipping line’s single-biggest expense, registered an 18% increase versus last year brought about by higher fuel prices and volume. ATS has implemented a series of freight rate increases to lessen the negative impact of higher fuel costs on its margins.

Finance cost, the largest component of other charges, soared 68% resulting from higher interest-bearing debt.

In December 2010, ATS then principal shareholders, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc and Aboitiz and Company Inc, sold their combined shareholdings of 93.2% in ATS to Nenaco for P4.3 billion.

Photo: Fuel Tanks by John Kasawa

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