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Western Bulk Says Supramax Orderbook Healthy as it Hails Market Rebound publishes Second Half and preliminary 2017 results

After neutral performance for the first half of the year, the Company gained substantial momentum in the second half with the Group posting a profit after tax of USD 6.4 million. The full year profit after tax ended at USD 4.3 million, a significant improvement from the realised loss of USD -20.1 million in 2016 (1).

Net TC reached USD 25.4 million (USD 1 003 per ship day) in the last six months of 2017, with the fourth quarter at USD 17.3 million (USD 1 395 per ship day), the highest Net TC level in any one quarter since 2012. Net TC as a percentage of market rates also improved significantly, reaching 13 % in the last quarter of 2017. The operated fleet decreased from 140 in the first half of the year to 137 in the second half, following closure of the Miami office and a more selective trading strategy.

Full year Net TC ended at USD 40.5 million (USD 792 per ship day), a substantial increase of USD 36.1 million from USD 4.4 million in 2016. The activity increased in 2017 with overall improved performance and positive outlook for the Group. The average number of ships operated was 140 for the full year, an increase from 125 in 2016.

In 2017 the Group generated USD 6.8 million in cash flow from operations in addition to USD 17.9 million in increased cash from the equity issue completed in March 2017. The Group is building a strong cash position with total available liquidity (incl. free cash and undrawn credit lines, but excluding restricted cash) reaching USD 55.9 million at the end of the year.

Following the gradual improvement in performance in 2017, the full year profit reached USD 4.3 million, further strengthening the equity position to USD 20.2 million at the end of the year. The Board of Directors considers this equity level sufficient as WBC is an asset light business with limited exposure to ship values or long-term charters.

The Group expects continued strong performance in 2018 with a stable net TC at around 10-percentage points of market rates in addition to an increased number of vessels operated. The Board of Directors aims for dividend payments pending continued improved performance.

“Performance has improved significantly, reaching historical levels, and the last quarter being the best in five years. This proves the success of our business model, and is very much owed to our strong and dedicated teams, states Jens Ismar, CEO of Western Bulk”.
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Source: Western Bulk

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