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Rickmers Maritime reports strong full year 2011 results

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 | 00:00
Rickmers Trust Management Pte. Ltd. ("RTM"), Trustee-Manager of Mainboard-listed Rickmers Maritime (the "Trust"), yesterday announced the financial performance of the Trust for the fourth quarter and full year ended 31 December 2011 (“4Q2011” and “FY2011” respectively).
Financial and Operating Review
The Trust’s charter revenue for 4Q2011 was US$37.79 million, a year-on-year (“y-o-y”) increase of 3% from the same period last year (“4Q2010”). For FY2011, charter revenue registered a 2% y-o-y increase from US$147.01 million for full year of 2010 (“FY2010”) to US$149.47 million. This increase was mainly due to a higher net daily charter rate of US$23,888 for Kaethe C. Rickmers, in effect since 25 March 2011 from the previous rate of US$8,288.
The Trust’s net profit of US$11.33 million for 4Q2011 was lower than a year ago due mainly to a write-back of vessel impairment of US$7.3 million recognised in 4Q2010. For FY2011, the Trust recovered from a loss of US$28.55 million in FY2010 to a profit of US$40.33 million in FY2011 due mainly to the absence of a US$64.0 million compensation fee.
Following the previous quarters, the Trust continued to pare down its outstanding bank loans from US$670.9 million as at 31 December 2010 to US$621.9 million as at 31 December 2011.
The repayment of bank loans resulted in 4Q2011’s finance expenses showing an 8% decrease from the previous year, from US$11.67 million in 4Q2010 to US$10.72 million in 4Q2011. Over the course of the year, financial expenses fell by 12%, from US$49.06 million in FY2010 to US$43.16 million in FY2011.
The amount to be distributed to unitholders increased from US$9.79 million in FY2010 to US$10.17 million in FY2011. This translates to a 4% y-o-y increase in distribution per unit (“DPU”) from 2.31 US cents for FY2010 to 2.40 US cents in FY2011. DPU for 4Q2011 remained stable at 0.601 US cents, the same level as a year ago, with an annualised
distribution yield of approximately 9.7%2. The declared distribution will be paid to unitholders on 13 March 2012.
Fleet Operations
Currently, Rickmers Maritime’s fleet comprises 16 containerships, with sizes ranging between 3,450 TEU and 5,060 TEU. All the containerships were fully employed throughout 2011 at an average daily time charter rate of US$25,750 per vessel. During the year, four vessels went for their first scheduled dry-docking, resulting in 33.4 off-hire days. Fleet utilisation rate for FY2011 (excluding positioning and scheduled dry-docking) was an encouraging 99.9%.
2012 looks set to be a challenging year for the global shipping industry. Although current estimated growth in global trade is expected to be 7.7% for 20123, there remain significant
downside risks from global economic developments, such as high oil prices, sovereign credit
risk and continued uncertainty in the US and Eurozone. In addition, current oversupply in ship capacity, significant rate pressures in the two main trade lanes (Asia to Europe and Asia to US) and record high fuel prices are affecting the near-term demand for container tonnage,
culminating in downward pressure on time charter rates and vessel values.
Nonetheless, the Trust remains cautiously optimistic on the year ahead. Chief Executive
Officer of RTM, Mr Thomas Preben Hansen explained, “The volatility and uncertainty of the
global economy has impacted global consumption and as a result, our industry is subject to
renewed pressure on earnings and asset values. We remain mindful of this development and
calibrate our risk management with consideration for the changing business environment. Our
business model is one that focuses on long-term growth and stability, and we are therefore
confident of sustaining our steady performance for 2012. The majority of our fleet remains fully employed until end 2013, with the exception of Kaethe C. Rickmers which is due for redelivery later this month. In view of the weak charter market, there is a risk that she may not immediately secure new employment upon expiry of her current charter. However, the Trust 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.”
Source: Rickmers Trust Management Pte
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