Feb 032013

SINGAPORE – Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), a subsidiary of infrastructure conglomerate Metro Pacific Investments Corp., expects a single digit growth in traffic volume for its toll roads this year, an official said.

MPTC president Ramoncito S. Fernandez said in an interview that the toll road firm expects continuous traffic volume growth in its portfolio.

“The election season results in mobility,” Fernandez said.

For instance, a seven percent growth in the traffic volume is projected in the 94-kilometer Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEx), four to five percent for the 84-kilometer North Luzon Expressway (NLEx), three percent for the 14-kilometer Manila-Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX), and as much as eight percent for the Kawit portion of CAVITEx, Fernandez said.

MPTC reported that its core income, which strips out currency and derivatives-related items, grew three percent to P1.52 billion last year.

Total revenues rose five percent to P6.88 billion “benefiting from higher growth in Class 2 and 3 vehicles or those of higher value,” Fernandez said.

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Class 2 vehicles like buses and Class 3 vehicles like cargo trucks and trailers are charged higher rates compared with Class 1 vehicles like jeepneys, pick-up vans and cars.

CAVITEx and SCTEx have pending requests for rate hikes before the Toll Regulatory Board.

Average daily traffic hit 163,400 vehicles last year, up four percent from 2011, MPTC said.

Fernandez said the contract to maintain and operate the SCTEx is under renegotiation, with average traffic volume at 25,000, which is below the expected 30,000.

For capital spending, Fernandez said the company allotted roughly P2.7 billion this year.

Projects this year include the P1.5-billion, 2.42-kilometer Segment 9 of NLEx Harbour Link, the P540-million SCTEx integration and the P300-million heavy maintenance for NLEx, Fernandez said.

MPTC is also looking for possible toll road projects in Indonesia and Vietnam.

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