HONG KONG's global ship lessor Seaspan posted a 33.5 per cent decline in third quarter net profit to US$60.1 million, drawn on revenues of $211 million, which fell 6.1 per cent year on year.
In the first nine months of the year, the net profit declined 27 per cent year on year to $220.4 million drawn on revenues of $616.9 million, down 7.1 per cent.
Seaspan took delivery of three 11,000-TEU vessels on long-term bareboat charters with Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC).
It entered into three-year time charter contracts with CMA CGM for two 10,000-TEU newbuilding currently under construction.
It entered into vessel sale agreements for four 4,250-TEU vessels. Two of the individual vessel sales closed in the third quarter and a third closed in the fourth quarter.
Seaspan also achieved reductions of 10.7 per cent and 11.7 per cent in ship operating expense per ownership day during the three and nine months ending September 30 and achieved vessel utilisation of 96.9 per cent and 95.6 per cent for the three and nine months ending September 30.
Excluding the four 4,250-TEU vessels that are being sold, vessel utilisation was 98 per cent and 97 per cent for the same periods respectively.
Currently 19 vessels in Seaspan's operating fleet are unencumbered, including two 3,500-TEUers, fourteen 4,250-TEUer, two 4,500 TEUers, and one 9,600 TEUer, which excludes the remaining 4,250-TEU vessel that is subject to a sale agreement.
In October 2017, declared a quarterly dividend of $0.125 per common share for the third quarter of 2017.
Said chairman David Sokol: "Maintaining a strong and flexible balance sheet remains a priority. Over the past four months, we have repaid over $200 million in secured credit facilities and have grown our unencumbered fleet to 19 vessels.
"Overall, we remain well positioned to capitalise on growth opportunities that may arise during this period of improving industry fundamentals."Revenue decreased due to lower average charter rates for vessels that were on short-term charters, partially offset by the delivery of newbuilding vessels in 2016 and 2017," he said
Ship operating expenses decreased 6.6 per cent due to cost savings initiatives. These decreases were achieved while the ownership days increased by 4.5 per cent and 5.8 per cent for the three and nine months ended September 30, said the Seaspan statement.
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