Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 08 - 2010

 

Athens must try to stem shipowner cash exodus

---Nigel Lowry - Wednesday 24 February 2010
Unfortunately, most people remember the Titanic mainly for its sinking, made inevitable by its scrape with the iceberg which sent water rushing through too many compartments to be survivable. Greece, by comparison, looks eminently salvable.
But if Greek shipowners winced at the metaphor, it will have been because they are already sensitive to any sign, however slight or intuitive, that the government might be thinking of them as it reviews how it is going to raise the funds to set the country back on a healthier course.
He also shrugs off any impact from customers withdrawing funds, saying that his bank has budgeted for deposits to remain at 90%-95% of lending for this year, the same level as for 2009.
Source: www.lloydslist.com


Piraeus Firm in Posidonia Debut
Source: Posidonia 2010 Newsletter, issue 1


Equity Appetite Remains Strong
The joint bookrunning managers for the ofering are UBS and Citi. The senior manager is Barclays and the co-managers are Oppenheimer and Stifel Nicolaus.
Source: www.marinemoney.com  Marine Money Freshly Minted  25 Feb 2010 Page 1


Greek banks face squeeze
Source: http://www.fairplay.co.uk


New markets boost Aegean
---(Feb 26 2010). Aegean marine Petroleum Network reported unadjusted net income of $13.7 mill, while the net income on an adjusted basis was $14.8 mill, compared with a net income of $13.1 mill in 4Q08.
Total revenues for 4Q09 increased by 53.7% to $851.8 mill, compared with $554.3 mill recorded in 4Q08.
Sales of marine petroleum products during 4Q09 increased by 53.2% to $843.4 mill, compared to $550.5 mill for 2008. Net revenue, which equals total revenue less cost of goods sold and cargo transportation expenses, increased 13.6% to $58.6 mill, compared to $51.6 mill in 4Q08.
Results for the fourth quarter of 2009 were primarily driven by a 5.2% increase in the gross spread on marine petroleum products to $50.2 mill compared to $47.7 mill for 4Q08. For the three months, the volume of marine fuel sold increased by 11.4% to 1.75 mill tonnes, compared to 1.6 mill tonnes in 4Q08.
This was driven by improving sales volumes in the UAE and Singapore. Furthermore, results included increased sales volumes from Aegean's new markets.
During the three months ended December 31, 2009 the gross spread per metric ton of marine fuel sold decreased to $28.3 per metric ton, compared to $30.2 per metric ton in the year-earlier period.
Operating income for 4Q09 was $16.1 mill, compared to $18.3 mill for the same period in 2008. Operating expenses, which excluded the cost of fuel and cargo transport, increased to $42.5 mill, compared to $33.3 mill for the same period in 2008.
This increase was principally due to the expanded logistics infrastructure compared to the fourth quarter of 2008, Aegean said.
For the full year, the company recorded net income of $48.5 mill, compared to net income of $39.9 mill for 2008.
Total revenues for the year decreased by 10.2% to $2,496 mill compared to $2,778 mill for 2008. Sales of marine petroleum products decreased by 10.6% to $2,474 mill compared to $2,768 mill in 2008.
Net revenues for the year were $198 mill, compared to $170.9 mill in the previous year.
Aegean said that the results for the year were led by a 9.6% increase in the gross spread on marine petroleum products to $176.5 mill, compared to $161 mill for the same period a year ago.
The volume of marine fuel sold increased 19.1% to 6,192,755 tonnes compared to 5,200,256 tonnes in the year-earlier period.
Operating income for the year was $59.2 mill, compared to $52.1 mill in 2008.
President E Nikolas Tavlarios commented, "Our record performance for the fourth quarter and full year 2009 highlights our significant success in executing management's business plan during a global economic recession and further strengthens Aegean's industry leading brand. In maintaining our commitment to profitable growth, we increased sales volumes and net income by 19.1% and 21.6%, respectively, in 2009 compared to the year-earlier period while actively managing counterparty risk and expanding our future earnings potential.
Tavlarios added, "Complementing the robust growth in our service network, we continued to expand our high-quality logistics infrastructure with the delivery of 11 double-hull bunkering vessels in 2009 and year-to-date, including seven newbuildings. As we continue to enhance our competitive advantage and meet the strong demand for modern tonnage, we intend to draw upon our considerable financial flexibility and take delivery of 14 additional double-hull bunkering tanker newbuilds for the remainder of 2010."
Source: http://www.tankeroperator.com/news/todisplaynews.asp?NewsID=1814


NewLead in transition mode
---26 Feb 2010. NEWLEAD Holdings, successor to Aries Maritime Transport, narrowed its quarterly losses today as its difficult transformation continues.
THE NASDAQ-listed bulker and product tanker owner reported net losses of $39.9M for 4Q09, versus losses of $42.4M for 4Q08. NewLead lost $163.6M for full-year 2009, versus losses of $39.8M the year before.
In addition, NewLead recently announced plans to acquire two Kamsarmax newbuildings and the connected sale of its loss-making product tanker Chinook. NEWLEAD Holdings, successor to Aries Maritime Transport, narrowed its quarterly losses today as its difficult transformation continues.
Source: http://www.fairplay.co.uk


Star Bulk Carriers - Weaker 4Q Results on Higher In-Charter Expenses
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Source: Dahlman Rose & Company, LLC


Tsakos and Schoeller in ship management JV
---February 22, 2010. Tsakos Shipping & Trading SA (TST) and Schoeller Holdings Ltd (SHL) the owner of Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd have formed a joint venture ship management company. The new entity, Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement SA (TCM) will start operations in the second quarter of 2010.
The purpose of the new company is to expand its services to third party owners and continue the technical management of the existing TST managed fleet. TCM will operate independently under its own Document of Compliance. There will be no changes to the existing Quality, Safety and Environmental Management Systems applied by TST or to the pool of shore and seagoing personnel employed by TST.
TCM will be based in Athens in new office space within the Tsakos Group premises.
The new joint venture is the result of a close working relationship between the two companies that started more than 10 years ago and has developed strongly in recent years.
Columbia Shipmanagement Ltd, holder of the "International Ship Management 2010" Award of the Institute of Transport Management (ITM) is a well-known ship management company established in Cyprus in 1978. The company currently provides either crew and/or technical shipmanagement services to about 350 vessels of every type and size.
Tsakos Shipping & Trading S.A., established in 1970, currently manages a diverse fleet of approximately 85 vessels (tankers, containers, bulk carriers, LNG and ro-ro).
TCM will amalgamate the best philosophies of its founding partners with respect to the environment, client relationship/satisfaction, safety of operation and efficiency. It expects to provide significant operational and financial benefits for clients, shipowners, charterers and shareholders.
Source: http://www.marinelog.com/DOCS/NEWSMMIX/2010feb00221.html


Mixed results for listed Georgiopoulos-chaired trio
--- Fourth quarter 2009 and full year results for US-listed companies chaired by Peter Georgiopoulos have been mixed. In the drybulk sector, Genco Shipping & Transport returned to profit, and in the energy sector, Aegean Marine Petroleum held steady, but General Maritime slumped into the red.
Genco returned to the black in the final quarter of 2009, netting $35.5m after it lost $111m in the same 2008 period when hit by an impairment charge of $104m related to its stake in bulker rival Jinhui Shipping. Full-year profits were up over 71% to $148.6m.
Genco's fourth quarter revenues were down 5% to $96.2m, but expenses were halved to $44.3m after 2008's expenses were inflated by a $53.8m charge related to the forfeit of a 10% deposit from the cancellation of six newbuildings. In the 2009 quarter Genco's fleet of nine capesize, eight panamax, four supramax, six handymax and eight handysize bulkers of 2.9m dwt, had an average TCE rate of $30,567 a day, 13.4% down on the $35,304 of a year ago.
However, higher vessel operating expenses, management fees, depreciation and amortisation were recorded in the 2009 period as the larger fleet took $15.1m compared to $13.5m for the same 2008 period. Daily vessel operating expenses grew to $4,817 a ship from $4,734 in the 2008 quarter, but were below budget due to the timing of spare parts purchases and lower than anticipated crew costs.
Full 2009 revenues were back 6.4% on a year ago, to $379.5m. The fleet obtained average daily TCE rates of $31,656 for 2009 compared to $37,824 for the same period the year before. Total full-year expenses were largely unchanged from a year ago at $169m.
John C. Wobensmith, cfo, said that during the year Genco utilised its significant cash flows to increase its cash position to $205.8m at the end of 2009.
Listed tanker company Genmar, slipped to a loss of $52.9m in the fourth quarter burdened by a series of one-off charges totalling $40.9m. Net voyage revenue decreased 17.2% to $60.1m for the three months against $72.6m a year ago. The result for the full year was a loss of just under $12m versus a profit for 2008 of $29.8m, though net voyage revenue was up 7.3% to $291.6m over 2009.
Excluding the write downs, fourth quarter EBITDA was $23.8m, down 44% on the $42.7m in the fourth quarter of 2008. Genmar's fleet of two VLCCs, 11 suezmaxes, 12 aframaxes, two panamaxes and four product tankers of 4m dwt, earned an average TCE of $22,683 a day in the fourth 2009 quarter, some 33% down on the same 2008 period with ships on spot earning an average rate of $11,850 a day, 61.9% down on the $31,132 of a year ago. Six suezmaxes and nine aframaxes operate spot.
Vessel operating expenses increased 25.4% to $35.9m in the fourth quarter of 2009 due to a the growth of the fleet from 23.5 to 31 ships. Daily direct vessel operating expenses increased 17.7% to $9,261 a day as crewing and repair and maintenance costs rose.
NYSE-listed bunker logistics company, Aegean lifted fourth quarter profits 5% on a year ago to $13.7m as revenues surged 54% to $851.8m. However, operating profits slid 12% to $16.1m. Fourth quarter 2009 results were primarily driven by a 5.2% increase in the gross spread on marine petroleum products to $50.2m, as the volume of marine fuel sold in the last three months jumped 11.4% to 1.75m tonnes boosted by volumes in the UAE and Singapore.
An expanded logistics infrastructure saw operating expenses, excluding the cost of fuel and transportation, increase to $42.5m from $33.3m in 2008's final quarter.
Full-year profits rose 21.5% to $48.5m, though revenues were down just over 10% to $2.5bn. Since the beginning of 2009 Aegean has taken delivery of 11 double-hull bunker units, including seven newbuildings, with company president, E Nikolas Tavlarios, saying a further 14 bunker vessels are expected in 2010.
In 2009 Aegean entered three new markets, for a presence in 14 strategic locations, tripling Aegean's global reach since its December 2006, IPO.
Tavlarios said: "By expanding our integrated marine fuel platform from procurement to delivery we expect to strengthen our leadership position as a full-service independent supplier of marine fuel to blue-chip customers and drive future sales volume growth."
Source: www.newsfront.gr


NewLead Holdings Ltd. Announces Agreements for Purchase of Two Kamsarmaxes and Sale of Product Tanker
---PIRAEUS, Greece, Feb 23, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ -- NewLead Holdings Ltd. (Nasdaq: NEWL) (the "Company") today announced that it has signed a Stock Purchase Agreement providing for the purchase of two Kamsarmaxes for an aggregate purchase price of $112.7 million and signed a Memorandum of Agreement for the sale of the product tanker Chinook for $8.5 million.
"NewLead's fleet continues to transform, becoming younger and more versatile," said Mr. Michael S. Zolotas, President and Chief Executive Officer. "As we sell non-productive assets, we will be seeking to add new vessels particularly those with favorable charters. These two high quality dry bulk Kamsarmaxes add a unique class of vessel to our fleet and seven years of revenue visibility."
Acquisition of Two Vessels
The company is acquiring two geared, 80,000 DWT Kamsarmaxes from COSCO Dalian Shipyard Co. Ltd. to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2010 and 2011, respectively. The charter for the first vessel is for a five-year initial term at $28,710 (net) a day. The charter for the second vessel is for a seven-year term at $27,300 (net) a day.
Disposition of One Vessel
In relation to this transaction, the Company has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement for the sale of the product tanker Chinook for $8.5 million. The Chinook is a Romanian 2001 built, 38,700 dwt MR tanker that has been operating on the spot market and generating operating losses. Divesting this inefficient vessel will result in estimated operational savings of approximately $2.0 million annually.
Financing
The $112.7 million purchase price for the two Kamsarmaxes will be paid by $80.0 million of debt financing, $24.2 million of cash from the balance sheet (associated with the shipbuilding contracts and related expenses) and the sale of the Chinook for a consideration of $8.5 million to be delivered against the purchase price.
Press Release in full is available at: http://www.newleadholdings.com/pop_news.php?news_id=126
Source: http://www.newleadholdings.com