The US-listed containership owner reported net income of $13.4m in the three months to 31 March, versus a gain of $9.3m 12 months prior.

The adjusted first-quarter profit amounted to $13.9m or $0.13 in earnings per share, which was $0.02 higher than the Wall Street forecast.

Operating revenues rose to $146.1m from $134.2m year-on-year during a period in which its lenders agreed to allow Danaos to sell up to nine of its containerships.

The Athens-based company said it has already raised $18.8m from the sale of three vessels recently struck a deal to offload another.

Proceeds, which must be deposited in a restricted account, will be used to finance the acquisition of new containerships provided the deals are consummated by the end of 2013.

Of the seven vessels placed in cold lay-up last year only one remains as one was reactivated and the others were among the four that were sold.

In a statement chief executive John Coustas said he expects to see market fundamentals improve during the peak season but doesn’t anticipate a “spectacular” change.

Going forward he told investors that management will focus on “rapidly de-leveraging” the company and hopes to seal “accretive acquisitions of younger containerships” by the end of 2013.