Container ship owner-charterer Rickmers Maritime posted a $40.3 million net profit for 2011, reversing a $28.6 million loss in 2010, and said it expects “steady performance” this year despite a “challenging” charter market.
The Singapore-based company said most of its 16 ships are chartered through 2013 and that Rickmers reduced its outstanding bank loans to $621.9 million at the end of 2011 from $670.9 million a year earlier. Rickmers said, however, that CSAV’s current $23,888-a-day charter for the Kaethe C. Rickmers is due to expire this month.
“In view of the weak charter market, there is a risk that she may not immediately secure new employment,” Rickmers CEO Thomas Preben Hansen said in a statement.
Hansen added that Rickmers “is in a more secure position today than in the previous financial crisis, with no outstanding orders for new vessels and no near-term refinancing.”
He cited Clarkson Research estimates that global container trade will grow 7.7 percent this year while vessel capacity increased 6.7 percent but said macroeconomic risks, overcapacity and fuel prices “are affecting the near-term demand for container tonnage, culminating in downward pressure on time-charter rates and vessel values.”
Rickmers’ net profit for the fourth quarter dipped 43 percent to $11.3 million, due mainly to a $7.3 million vessel impairment charge. The company announced a 4 percent increase in per unit distributions to unit holders
Charter revenue for the quarter was $37.79 million, up 3 percent from a year earlier. Full-year charter revenue rose 2 percent to $149.47 million, due mainly to an increase in an increase in the Kaethe C. Rickmers’ daily charter rate from $8,288 last March 25.