By HENRY EMPEÑO
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) recorded a total of P615.28 million in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in just the first four months of this year.
SBMA Administrator Wilma T. Eisma said the Subic agency’s various strategic units contributed a total of more than P1 billion in operating revenues in the said period for a 9.5 percent increase over the P919.6 million posted last year.
Minus the operating expenses of P313.5 million and bad debts account of P78.2 million, Eisma said the SBMA managed a P56.9 million increase over the 2016 EBITDA of P558.3 million for a 10.2 percent increase in earnings.
“We’re very much optimistic that while 2016 was considered a banner year in SBMA finances, we just might be able to top that at the rate we’re going this year,” Eisma said. “The SBMA is actually riding an upward trend that began in the past few years, and I believe we can sustain that and that further growth will continue,” she added.
A comparative report from the SBMA Finance Group showed agency earnings this year eclipsing 2016 records.
The agency’s net income, for example, surged by 148 percent from P18.5 million in the first quarter of 2016 to P46.76 million in the first quarter of 2017.
The biggest revenue contributor among the SBMA business units was the Port Authority Group, which delivered P476.4 million in the first four months. The Business and Investment Group followed with P426 million; Public Services Group, P67.5 million; Regulatory Group, P18.38 million; Chairman and Administrator’s Group, P9.25 million; and Support Services Group, P7.19 million.
The biggest increases as of end-April came from the Business and Investment Group, which posted close to P55 million in variance, and the Port Authority Group, with an increase of P17.85 million.
Meanwhile, the SBMA Tourism Department reported a 28 percent growth in revenues from visitor and tourist arrivals, as well as hotel occupancy, from January to April.
A report from SBMA Tourism showed a total of 894,603 visitors and 161,046 tourists arriving in Subic in the first four months. These figures represented respective increases of 70,648 and 30,284 over 2016 arrivals.
The 2017 arrival figures included some289,600 visitors who arrived in the Subic Bay Freeport for the Holy Week.
According to the report, the increase in the number of visitors and tourists this year generated actual revenues amounting to P2.74 million. This is 28% higher than the P2.1 million revenue record last year.
Among the events that generated much tourism traffic here in January to April are the arrival of the luxury cruise ship MS Bremen, and the conduct of the three-day Summer Siren beach music festival that brought in some 7,000 visitors.
PHOTOS: Cargo ships unload at Subic Bay ports, which anchored revenue growth for the SBMA this year.