Rickmers slips in first

Rickmers Maritime delivered a sobering view of the containership market as it reported a slip in first quarter profitability today.
Thomas Preben Hansen

Thomas Preben Hansen

The Singapore-listed trust booked a gain of $9.85m in the first three months of the year, down by 8% on 12 months earlier.

It explains downtime and higher fuel costs relating to the repositioning of the the 3,450–teu Henry Rickmers and Richard Rickmers (both built 2006) to begin charters with Maersk Line led to the lower bottom line.

Thomas Preben Hansen, chief executive of Rickmers Maritime, said: “Whilst the charter market remains under pressure as a result of the persistent over-supply of container ships in the market, Rickmers Maritime’s performance has been consistent due to its existing charter agreements with reputable counter parties.”

“As a result of our recent chartering activities, we have succeeded in locking in 98% of our tonnage exposure for 2014, bringing our secured revenue between 31 March 2014 and the expiry of our last charter party contract in 2019 to a total of $311.3m.

“With a number of our existing charter agreements expiring during the fourth quarter of 2014 and 2015, the uncertainty surrounding the timing of a charter market recovery poses a risk to the earnings and cash flows of the Trust.

“To this end, we will continue our chartering activities to ensure the best possible future employment for our fleet of quality vessels.”

Rickmers says the next 12 months will see the delivery of a significant number of newbuildings, including many ships of 10,000 teu and above.

“This will add to the prevailing level of structural over-supply, which is likely to outstrip demand in the near term despite an increase in the scrapping of existing ships and continued slow-steaming,” it said.

“Vessel values and time charter rates are therefore expected to begin recovering only in 2015.”

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