zoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: SAAM Chilean port, logistics and towage services provider SAAM saw a significant increase in profit for the first quarter of 2019 on the back of a new operating model which was introduced last year.While revenue for the the quarter ending March 31 was USD 129.3 million, a 2 percent increase compared to the USD 126.7 million achieved in the same period a year before, SAAM reported a profit of USD 17.9 million during the first quarter of 2019. For the first three months of 2018, the company reported a profit of USD 8.1 million.Excluding extraordinary effects in both periods, the result represents a growth of 57 percent, the company said.“The positive first quarter results reflect the concrete effects of the operating model we have been implementing since last year, which has enabled us to improve profitability, deliver better service and project the company’s future growth from a more solid foundation,” Macario Valdés, SAAM CEO, explained.Highlights for the quarter include closing a deal to purchase all joint operations with Boskalis in Canada, Mexico, Panama and Brazil, and the sale of the company’s minority interest in Terminal Puerto Arica (TPA).The company added it would invest USD 80 million primarily to maintain infrastructure and equipment in the port terminals and towage divisions in 2019.SAAM’s Port Terminals Division reported improved results, led by Terminal Portuario Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Florida International Terminal (FIT). Sales totaled USD 70.9 million, up 12 percent from the first quarter of 2018.The Towage Division, in turn, reported sales of USD 46.5 million, a 3 percent drop. The Logistics Division posted revenue of USD 12.7 million, a 22 percent decrease compared to the same period a year before. SAAM said this division’s improved results can be explained by efforts to focus operations on value-added trucking, air and warehousing solutions.