Chemical tanker specialist Christiania Shipping has risen from the ashes of its loss-making predecessor to report positive operating profit for 2018.

“In 2018, we have successfully implemented several changes to re-establish Christiania Shipping as an efficient and streamlined shipowner, charterer and operator," said Axel Eitzen, the company's chief executive.

Eitzen last year led the takeover of Herning Shipping by ANE Shipping, in which Norwegian players Camillo Eitzen & Co, Castel and Seahorse Invest are shareholders.

The Copenhagen-based company was subsequently refinanced and renamed as Christiania Shipping.

"In 2018 we deliver positive EBITDA of $3.2m compared to negative EBITDA of $3.8m in 2017. We will continue the development of Christiania Shipping going forward," said Eitzen.

The positive result for 2018 is primarily a result of reduced administrative costs and more efficient operations, the company said in a release.

Fleet developments

Christiania said its immediate strategy is to expand and renew its 20-ship fleet and to grow its business.

In February, the company entered into a long-term bareboat agreement with Kitanihon Shipbuilding of Japan for the 12,601-dwt chemical tanker Stella Theresa (formerly Stellar Wisteria; built 2011).

Christiania owns 12 chemical tankers ranging from 3,500 dwt to 12,600 dwt, with stainless steel and Marine Line-coated cargo tanks.

The company has three vessels on long-term bareboat contracts and five ships on timecharter. All the ships are flagged in Denmark.

Christiania's progress marks another chapter in Axel Eitzen's shipping career.

After the global financial crash, he lost control of his four publicly-listed companies and went from employing 7,400 staff to just two.

“I never evaluated any other possibilities other than to try and find a way of coming back," he told TradeWinds last week.