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Safe Bulkers, Inc. Reports Solid Second Quarter and Six Months 2021 Results

Safe Bulkers, Inc., an international provider of marine drybulk transportation services, announced its unaudited financial results for the three and six months periods ended June 30, 2021.

Management Commentary

Dr. Loukas Barmparis, President of the Company, said: ”We are happy to present to our shareholders the financial results for the second quarter 2021, with strong profitability, reduced debt and substantial actions towards fleet renewal.”

Update on COVID-19, company’s actions and status

There has been a negative effect from the COVID-19 pandemic on the Company’s results of operations and financial condition during the second quarter, due to higher crew and related costs of about $1.1 million. Any future impact of COVID-19 on the Company’s results of operations and financial condition and any long-term impact of the pandemic on the dry bulk industry, will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted, including new waves of the pandemic and any new potential restrictions imposed as a result of the virus, new information which may emerge concerning the severity of the virus and/or actions taken to contain or treat its impact, including distribution and effectiveness of the vaccines, as well as political implications that could further impact world trade and global growth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the shipping industry and seafarers in general, as port lockdowns were imposed globally during 2020 and 2021. The Company has worked extensively to find solutions focusing on effectively managing crew changes despite the ongoing port closures and travel restrictions imposed by governments around the world. The Company has also taken measures to protect its seafarers’ and shore employees’ health and well-being, keep its vessels sailing with minimal disruption to their trading ability, service its charterers and mitigate and address the risks, effects and impact of COVID-19 on its operations and financial performance.

At-the-market equity offering program

In August 2020, the Company filed a prospectus supplement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), under which it could offer and sell shares of its common stock (“Shares”) from time to time up to aggregate sales proceeds of $23.5 million through an “at-the-market” equity offering program (the “ATM Program”).

In May 2021, the Company filed a supplement to its prospectus supplement to increase the capacity under the ATM Program to allow for sales of Shares for aggregate gross offering proceeds of up to $100.0 million under the ATM Program. As of June 30, 2021, the Company had sold 17,271,006 shares of common stock under the ATM Program with aggregate net offering proceeds to the Company of $61.5 million. Shares of common stock with aggregate sales proceeds of up to approximately $38.5 million remain available for sale.

Chartering our fleet

Our vessels are used to transport bulk cargoes, particularly coal, grain and iron ore, along worldwide shipping routes. We intend to employ our vessels on both period time charters and spot time charters, according to our assessment of market conditions. Our customers represent some of the world’s largest consumers of marine drybulk transportation services. The vessels we deploy on period time charters provide us with visible and relatively stable cash flow, while the vessels we deploy in the spot market allow us to maintain our flexibility in low charter market conditions and provide an opportunity for a potential upside in our revenue when charter market conditions improve.

Fleet update

As of July 23, 2021, the orderbook of the Company consisted of eight Japanese, dry-bulk newbuilds of which five were Kamsarmax class vessels and three were Post-Panamax class vessels, with scheduled deliveries of two within 2022, four within 2023 and two within 2024. All eight newbuild vessels are designed to meet the Phase 3 requirements of Energy Efficiency Design Index related to the reduction of green house gas emissions (”GHG -EEDI Phase 3”) as adopted by the International Maritime Organization, (“IMO”) and also comply with the latest NOx emissions regulation, NOx-Tier III (IMO, MARPOL Annex VI, reg. 13).

As of July 23, 2021 the Company had entered into agreements to acquire one second-hand Panamax class vessel and to sell six vessels, of which four were Panamax and two were Kamsarmax class vessels.

In more detail:

Orderbook

In October 2020, the Company entered into an agreement for the acquisition of one 82,000 dwt, Kamsarmax class newbuild vessel.

In December 2020, the Company entered into an agreement for the acquisition of one 87,000 dwt, Post-Panamax class newbuild vessel.

In May 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the acquisition of two 87,000 dwt, Post-Panamax class newbuild vessels.

In June 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the acquisition of one 82,000 dwt, Kamsarmax class newbuild vessel.

In July 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the acquisition of three 82,000 dwt, Kamsarmax class newbuild vessels.

Second-hand acquisitions

In March 2021, the Company took delivery of MV Paraskevi 2, a 2011-built Japanese Panamax class vessel at a gross price of $14.1 million.

In June 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the acquisition of the 2013-built Japanese Panamax class MV Koulitsa 2, at a gross price of $22.0 million which was delivered to us on July 26, 2021. The purchase was funded by the cash reserves of the Company.

Vessel sales

In January 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the sale of the Panamax class MV Paraskevi, built 2003, at a gross sale price of $7.3 million. The vessel was delivered to her new owners in April 2021.

In January 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the sale of the Panamax class MV Vassos, built 2004, at a gross sale price of $8.7 million. The vessel was delivered to her new owners in May 2021.

In May 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the sale of the Kamsarmax class MV Pedhoulas Builder, built 2012, at a gross sale price of $22.5 million. The vessel was delivered to her new owners in in June 2021.

In May 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the sale of the Kamsarmax class MV Pedhoulas Farmer, built 2012, at a gross sale price of $22.0 million. The sale is expected to be consummated in September 2021.

In May 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the sale of the Panamax class MV Maria, built 2003, at a gross sale price of $12.0 million. The sale is expected to be consummated in August 2021.

In June 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for the sale of the Panamax class MV Koulitsa, built 2003, at a gross sale price of $13.6 million. The sale is expected to be consummated in October 2021.

New credit facility

In June 2021, the Company entered into a credit facility of $70.0 million with a five-year tenor, comprising of a term loan tranche of $30.0 million and a reducing revolving credit facility tranche providing for a draw down capacity of up to $40.0 million, with respect to seven vessels. The agreement contained financial covenants in line with the existing loan and credit facilities of the Company. The proceeds from the credit facility refinanced loan facilities of $64.3 million maturing in 2023, in respect of eight vessels, seven of which secure the new credit facility and one of which remained debt free. We do not intend to utilize the full capacity of the revolving credit facility tranche at this time. The refinancing transaction was evaluated and approved by the Board of Directors of the Company, excluding an independent member of the Board of the Company, who serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the financial institution that is the lender in the transaction.

Liquidity, capital expenditure requirements and debt as of June 30, 2021

We had $127.4 million in cash, cash equivalents, bank time deposits and restricted cash, $67.0 million in undrawn borrowing capacity available under revolving reducing credit facilities and $54.7 million in secured commitments for loan and sale and lease back agreements, in relation to two newbuild vessels and refinancing of one existing vessel. Furthermore, excluding the vessels committed for sale, we have additional borrowing capacity in relation to one unencumbered existing vessel and to three newbuilds upon their delivery.

We had a fleet of 40 vessels, three of which have been committed to be sold but have not yet been delivered to their new owners. In addition, the Company had committed to the purchase of a second-hand Panamax, and had placed orders for five newbuild vessels.

The remaining capital expenditure requirements were $151.0 million in aggregate, consisting of $130.9 million in relation to the five newbuild vessels, $17.6 million in relation to the second-hand acquisition and $2.5 million in relation to one exhaust gas cleaning device (‘Scrubber’) and ballast water treatment systems (‘BWTS’) retrofits. The schedule of payments of the remaining capital expenditure requirements is $19.4 million in 2021, $57.4 million in 2022, and $74.2 million in 2023.

The remaining proceeds in relation to committed sale of the three vessels were $47.6 million.

We had $496.1 million of outstanding consolidated debt before deferred financing costs, reduced from $607.6 million as of March 31, 2021.

Liquidity, capital expenditure requirements and debt as of July 23, 2021

We had $115.6 million in cash, cash equivalents, bank time deposits, restricted cash, $67.0 million in undrawn borrowing capacity available under revolving credit facilities and $54.7 million in secured commitments for loan and sale and lease back agreements, in relation to two newbuild vessels and refinancing of one existing vessel. Furthermore, excluding the vessels committed for sale, we have additional borrowing capacity in relation to one unencumbered existing vessel and to six newbuilds upon their delivery.

We had a fleet of 40 vessels, three of which have been committed to be sold but have not yet been delivered to their new owners. In addition, the Company had committed the purchase of one second-hand Panamax vessel, and had placed orders for eight newbuild vessels.

The remaining capital expenditure requirements were $230.0 million in aggregate, consisting of $210.0 million in relation to the eight newbuild vessels, $17.6 million in relation to the second-hand acquisition and $2.4 million in relation to one exhaust gas cleaning device (‘Scrubber’) and ballast water treatment systems (‘BWTS’) retrofits. The schedule of payments of the remaining capital expenditure requirements is $19.3 million were payable in 2021, $57.4 million in 2022, and $107.1 million in 2023 and $46.2 million in 2024.

The remaining proceeds in relation to committed sale of the three vessels were $47.6 million.

We had $482.2 million of outstanding consolidated debt before deferred financing costs, reduced from $496.1 million as of June 30, 2021.

Derivatives

In May 2021, the Company entered into a pay-fixed, receive-variable interest rate derivative contract commencing in May 2021 and maturing in May 2026, at a fixed rate of 0.95% and for a notional amount of $50.0 million. As of June 30, 2021, the aggregate notional amount of outstanding interest rate derivative contracts was $323.0 million or about 65% of the aggregate debt outstanding at that date.

During the second quarter the Company entered into forward freight agreements on the Panamax index for 90 days in aggregate for the period to June 2022, with the objective of reducing the risk arising from the volatility in the charter rates.

Subsequently, in July 2021, the Company entered into two pay-fixed, receive-variable interest rate derivative contracts commencing July 2021 and maturing July 2026: i) at a fixed rate of 0.829% for a notional amount of $10.0 million and ii) at a fixed rate of 0.77% for a notional amount of $20.0 million. As of July 23, 2021, the aggregate notional amount of outstanding interest rate derivative contracts was $353.0 million or about 73% of the aggregate debt outstanding at that date.

Environmental Social Responsibility – Environmental investments – Dry-dockings

The Company continues the retrofit of its vessels with ballast water treatment systems, having installed such systems on 31 of its vessels as of June 30, 2021. In February 2021, the Company entered into an agreement for an additional scrubber installation in one of its Capesize class vessels, during the fourth quarter of 2021.

The Company has not scheduled dry-dockings for the third quarter of 2021 and has scheduled five dry-dockings for the fourth quarter 2021 with an estimated number of 120 down-time days.

Dividend Policy

The Company has not declared a dividend on the Company’s common stock for the second quarter of 2021. The Company had 119,488,328 shares of common stock issued and outstanding as of July 23, 2021.

The Company declared a cash dividend of $0.50 per share on each of its 8.00% Series C Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares (NYSE: SB.PR.C) and 8.00% Series D Cumulative Redeemable Perpetual Preferred Shares (NYSE: SB.PR.D) for the period from April 20, 2021 to July 29, 2021, which is scheduled to be paid on July 30, 2021 to the respective shareholders of record as of July 23, 2021.

The declaration and payment of dividends, if any, will always be subject to the discretion of the Board of Directors of the Company. The timing and amount of any dividends declared will depend on, among other things: (i) the Company’s earnings, financial condition and cash requirements and available sources of liquidity; (ii) decisions in relation to the Company’s growth and leverage strategies; (iii) provisions of Marshall Islands and Liberian law governing the payment of dividends; (iv) restrictive covenants in the Company’s existing and future debt instruments; and (v) global economic and financial conditions.

Full Report

Source: Safe Bulkers, Inc.

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