Costamare defies charter market, posts profit increase

By Finance

Greek container ship owner Costamare bucked the trend in the depressed charter market, increasing profits in the latest quarter and hinting at further vessel acquisitions.

The NYSE-listed company booked net income of $38.3 million in the final three months of 2015, up from $30.8 million a year earlier, on a more modest increase in voyage revenue to $122.3 million from $120.9 million.

Costamare defies charter market, posts profit increase

Image: Hannes van Rijn

Full-year net income jumped to $143.8 million from $115 million in 2014 and revenue grew to $490.4 million from $484 million.

“Charter rates and asset values have been under pressure, especially during the second half of the year, as a result of weak demand,” said Gregory Zikos, chief financial officer of the Athens-based ship-owner.

“We believe that today’s depressed asset value environment provides attractive opportunities and the potential to increase our shareholders’ returns.”

Costamare said it arranged pre-delivery financing with a leading Chinese financial institution in December for two vessel with capacities of 3,800 twenty-foot-equivalent units that were co-ordered with U.S.-based York Capital Management from Jiangsu New Yangzi Shipbuilding.

The ships, due for delivery in the first and second quarters of 2018, will be chartered to German carrier Hamburg-Sud for seven years.

Costamare and York Capital Management have invested more than $1 billion in new and secondhand vessels since they formed a joint venture in May 2013.

Costamare has a fleet of 72 ships with a combined capacity of 467,000 TEUs, including 12 ships under construction and one second hand vessel for delivery.

The company’s positive performance stands out in a market plagued by financial difficulties as ship-owners face slumping charter rates.

Singapore-based Rickmers Maritime has suspended dividends and will post a net loss for 2015 due to a $129 million impairment charge on its fleet of 16 ships. London-listed Goldenport Holdings has suspended debt payments and is negotiating with its lenders to restructure its loans.

Source: JOC