13 January 2016

SBMA posted 12-percent revenue increase last year

The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has again broken its own record of sterling performance in the past three years with a bigger growth upsurge in 2015, which rode on the swell of opportunities in the transshipment and maritime logistics sector.

SBMA Chairman Roberto V. Garcia said in a media briefing on Monday that the Subic agency had coaxed a broad-based revenue growth across all strategic business units (SBUs) in 2015, posting a 12-percent revenue growth and achieving an 8-percent increase in operating profit for the same period.

Previously, SBMA’s gross revenue stood at P2.44 billion in 2014, the highest for the agency since it began operations in 1992, while its operating profit or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization last year was at P1.39 billion, also the highest since 1992.

“The seaport/airport sector is now the leading SBU in Subic, with a 28- percent growth last year,” Garcia said during the news briefing.

He added that the growing transshipment and logistics revenue was bolstered by a 56-percent increase in the volume of containerized cargo processed in Subic, which rose from 77,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2014 to 120,000 TEUs in 2015.

Garcia said that, apparently, Subic has begun attracting legitimate shippers last year after being categorized as an extension for the Port of Manila in 2014.

“According to Secretary [Jose Rene] Almendras, there was no port congestion in Manila last year. However, Subic’s container volume still increased, so this can only mean that we have already attracted the legitimate shippers,” Garcia said.

Because of this, Garcia said SBMA is looking forward to bigger container volume in 2016. A 150,000-TEU target, he added, “would be easy [to achieve] this year.”

Aside from the growing transshipment and logistics revenue, Subic’s tourism sector also performed better in 2015, as it posted a 12-percent increase in tourist arrivals, bringing the year’s cumulative total to more than 6 million.

Nature theme parks, like Ocean Adventure and Zoobic Safari, contributed about 2.2 million to the 6 million arrivals for Subic in 2015, Garcia said.

Subic also posted in 2015 the highest hotel-occupancy rate in Central Luzon at 66 percent, as the meeting, incentive, conference and exhibition, and sports tourism niches gained more visitors.

“This is why more new hotels are being built here, and existing ones are expanding because there is a demand,” Garcia said.

He said that after several hotels and restaurants opened along Subic’s waterfront area in mid-2015, the Best Western Hotel was inaugurated late last year while the newest addition, The Reef Hotel, began construction.

Meanwhile, because of better financial performance in the last four years, SBMA was able to increase its capital expenditures from P30 million in 2014 to P40 million in 2015, as well as implement a 10-percent retroactive salary increase for all its personnel.

Garcia also said that, with better financial standing in 2015, SBMA contributed an estimated P630 million in dividends to the national government, an increase of 11 percent over its P570-million contribution in 2014.

SBMA’s outstanding performance in 2015, Garcia added, was capped by Subic’s recognition by fDi Magazine, a publication of The Financial Times of London, as “Global Free Zone of the Year” for Asia.

Subic also received two special awards from fDi last year: one for infrastructure development and another for reinvestment. (Henry EmpeƱo, Business Mirror)