Greek Shipping News Cuts
Week 19 - 2006

 

Greek Shipping to Remain Leader in a Competitive Mkt, Says NBG

The shipping sector is undergoing important cyclical as well as structural changes, with the latter affecting operations at both the international as well as the domestic level.
Regarding the former, it appears that freight rates in the sector are well past their peak, and could decline precipitously as ship production is rapidly catching up with high global demand.
Regarding the latter, heightened competition, combined with loose financial conditions, is resulting in a rapid restructuring of the sector, with the creation of larger players with more modern fleets.
Bold steps are necessary to attract more sector related businesses to Greece.
In what follows, future freight rates are projected based on both world ship demand and supply conditions.
The analysis concludes that though the impact remains positive, it is reduced significantly due mainly to cyclical factors, which are reinforced by structural changes occurring in the sector.
in terms of the quality of the fleet
Until recently, an important problem of the Greek fleet was its increasing age, mainly due to the business strategy of Greek shipowners, who preferred highly-leveraged inexpensive old ships, that could be operated at low cost and be sold opportunistically in market pickups.
However, this situation has reversed in recent years mainly as a result of new environmental legislation, especially concerning oil transportation, and heightened world competition in this segment.
In addition, strong competition between Chinese, South Korean and Japanese shipyards has led to a significant decrease in shipbuilding costs.
However, the speed of change has quickened markedly as a result of the loose financing conditions that the sector is experiencing.
Specifically, the recent bull market has generated massive cash flows for the sector.
Greek shipowners have taken advantage of high secondhand prices to dispose of older tonnage.
In a low interest rate environment, with solid revenue prospects and high collateral values in view of the level of freight rates and ship prices, bank lending to the shipping sector has soared.
Specifically, credit expansion has increased at an average annual rate of 22 per cent since 2001 and it amounted to $36 billion at end-2005 (note that the share of Greek banks to the Greek shipping loans portfolio is only 18 per cent).
As a result, the past couple of years were outstanding for Greek shipowners in terms of new orders (435 ships during 2003-2005, equivalent to approximately 15 per cent of the existing stock).
The orderbook as of 2005 stood at 323 ships, totaling 21 million dwt, and accounting for 10.3 per cent of the world total orderbook in tonnage terms.
This represents a huge investment since the price of a ship ranges between $30-$130 million.
Nevertheless, this development represents a further reduction in market share for the Greek-controlled fleet in the medium term.
Turning to particular shipping segments, Greek shipowners currently control the largest share in fuel transport, in terms of capacity (28 per cent).
Moreover, the number of Greek-controlled vessels has increased by 50 per cent over the past decade, while the global fleet expanded by just 9 per cent.
As a result, the average age of Greek-controlled oil tankers has fallen to 10 years in 2006 from 20 years in 2000 (with over half now being double-hulled).
In view of the large order book, Greek-controlled shipping is expected to increase by 13 million dwt or 7 per cent in 2006.
The payoff of this modernization process is also evident in the lower age of the Greek-controlled fleet.
Modernization of the fleet is important both as regards the competitive advantage that it provides, as well as the higher freight rates that can be charged per dwt, a development from which Greek shipowners are already benefiting.
as well as the consolidation of the shipping industry
There is a continuous long-term downward trend in the number of shipping companies, reflecting the use of economies of scale and ongoing globalization.
The three-year shipping boom, combined with stricter environmental regulations and easier financing conditions, intensified this consolidation process.
However, although the largest drop was in the number of one-ortwo- ships operations, this category continues to dominate the Greek shipping industry (representing 288 out of the total 690 companies last year, down from 483 in 1998; a 10 percentage point drop).
Source: www.reporter.gr,


Thessaloniki and Timbaki ports set for development
---9 May 2006. Merchant Marine Minister Manolis Kefaloyiannis announced yesterday the construction of jetty No 6 at the port of Thessaloniki, as part of a 98-million-euro program funded by a 3-billion-euro protocol that the ministry has signed with the European Investment Bank.
DPW is the biggest port management company in the world, handling more than 36 million containers around the world and managing more than 100 ports worldwide while making investments in tourism, energy, high technology and banking.
The Timbaki port development plan is especially interesting as it can also be combined with air transport, as it includes the use of a 3.5-kilometer runway.
In November, the China Ocean Shipping (Group) Co, also known as COSCO, stated it, too, had set its sights on Timbaki for the creation of a transit center.
The Arabs have also expressed interest in Drapetsona, in Piraeus, where an international trade and shipping center is to be created.
Asked about interest from any other country besides China, Kefaloyiannis said that in early June, on the occasion of the Poseidonia exhibition, many foreign officials are to arrive in Greece and that discussions on the development of Greek ports will continue.
Source: http://www.ekathimerini.com, NIKOS BARDOUNIAS


Piraeus hopes Euro 215m will restore its status
The port has employed a third party contractor to carry out a feasibility study covering all possibilities for the running of Pier 3, with a decision on whether to tender out operations to be made in September.
The government recently announced that port privatisation would be on the agenda for next year, although few specific details have been given at this stage.
Source: Lloyd's List, May 15, 2006


Greece, Egypt examine routes for nat-gas supply
---Athens and Cairo are examining three alternative routes for the transport of natural gas from Egypt to Greece, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said on Thursday.
Speaking to reporters after completing an official visit to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and Egypt, the Greek minister said he saw increased interest for investments in Greece by Arab interests and major opportunities for Greek enterprises in the Arab world, currently in a phase of strong economic growth.
Sioufas said a sea line between Alexandria with Crete and Piraeus would be announced in the next two weeks.
The minister said the two countries were examining three alternative solutions for the transport of natural gas from Egypt to Greece: first, through a pipeline linking Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Turkey, currently under construction, second, using LNG vessels and third, building an undersea pipeline linking Egypt with Crete (the most remote solution).
Sioufas said these discussions did not affect relations with other countries, such as Russia and Algeria which have long-term natural gas supply contracts. The Greek minister met with Egyptian businessman Sahim Sawiries, owner of Italian telecoms company Wind, which owns 50 percent plus one share and the management in Tellas, the telecommunications arm of the Public Power Corp.
Sioufas said the Egyptian entrepreneur has unveiled "interesting plans" for Telllas and for investments in other business sectors.
Commenting on a project to build an oil pipeline from Burgas, Bulgaria, to Alexandroupoli, Greece, Sioufas said both sides needed to speed up efforts, while he announced a meeting of a joint Greek-Russian commission in Athens, on June 9, to discuss energy relations between the two countries.
Source: http://www.ana.gr, Athens News Agency, Greece, 11 May 2006


Ferry companies fail to find sea of cash
The ferry business is not exactly awash with cash, as a quick look at the finances of 10 randomly selected large European operators suggests. Four of the selected companies trade mainly or exclusively in the Mediterranean; the rest operate in Northern Europe. Turnover increased at six companies, while four recorded a decline in the review period. Results improved at half of the companies and declined in all the rest, although Viking Line was the only company to report an actual loss. High fuel costs and tough competition from cheap air travel pose the greatest challenges, the companies told Fairplay. The companies with the best results mainly operate in the south of Europe. Just two of the companies posted net results of 10% or more of their turnover last year: Blue Star Ferries and Scandlines. But three Greek operators came close to that figure: Anek Lines, Minoan Lines and Attica, the group better known by its Superfast Ferries brand name. There is a marked difference in the fleets of the Greek and Northern European companies: in the south, the scene is dominated by modern, fast ro-pax vessels built after 1993, when the first such ships were introduced by Grandi Navi Veloci in Italy and Superfast and Minoan in Greece. Operators have since sold some of these ships, as overcapacity built up about the turn of the millennium. But as a whole, they operate modern and efficient fleets with ample freight capacity.
The picture in figures
Company Turnover Net result
2005 2004 2005 2004
ANEK Lines 240.2 191.5 17.0 12.2
Attica 385.1 371.3 37.0 41.0
Birka Line 115.4 82.2 -6.7 +7.6
Blue Star 33.2 41.7 8.4 6.9
DFDS 6.27 5.72 201 * 194 *
Minoan Lines 204.8 192.2 17.6 9.0
Scandlines 523.0 503.0 69.9 75.1
Sea Containers 517.8 559.0 4.4 ** 47.6 **
Tallink 114.1 115.4 3.5 *** 3.1 ***
Viking Line 382.7 385.2 0.8 **** 13.0 ****
* In Danish krone
** In dollars, result EBITDA figures for 9 months of each year
*** Figures for 6 months to 28 Feb of each year
**** Figures for 12 months to 31 Oct of each year
Source: Cover Story, Fairplay International Shipping Weekly


Pretoria urged: Resume rescue
The embassies of the three countries in Pretoria sent their joint appeal to the South African government and to the Greek shipping firm that owned the bulk carrier, Philippine Ambassador Virgilio Reyes Jr. said.
Pretoria called off the search for the missing crew 72 hours after the sinking, saying hopes of finding anyone alive was remote because no one could have survived the cold waters for more than 12 hours.
But Reyes said the private tugboat hired by the shipping company was still scouring the waters for survivors.
The representatives of the Greek shipping firm and its insurance company, P&I Associates Inc., are still interviewing the six Filipino survivors.
Source: http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=news07_may12_2006


---Thursday, May 11, 2006. EASYGROUP chairman Stelios Haji-Ioannou is to register up to $400 million worth of ships under the Cyprus flag for cruises around the Greek islands, reports said yesterday.
The new vessels, which will be Cyprus-registered, will be deployed on three and four day cruises around the Cyclades islands, such as Mykonos, Syros and Santorini, marking a major investment in Greece's tourism industry, Haji-Ioannou said.
The first two ships are expected to be delivered in 2008 and the next two a year later.
Haji-Ioannou was in Athens to sign a letter of intent with Greek shipbuilder Neorion Holdings for the construction of two, 500-passenger cruise ships with an option for a further two vessels.
The son of a Greek Cypriot ship owner, Haji-Ioannou turned his back on the traditional family business in the mid-1990s to found the no-frills easyJet airline.
But he said he saw fresh prospects in the Greek cruise market and would use his new ships to tour smaller and more picturesque ports, letting his clients spend more time and especially evenings on land.
The four new ships mark a major expansion in easyCruise's current fleet of just two vessels which entered service last May on the French riviera. The two existing ships, easyCruise1 and easyCruise2, are designed to carry just 170 and 100 passengers respectively.
With its white-washed villages and sunny Aegean islands, tourism is a major source of foreign exchange and tax revenues for the country, accounting for about 15 per cent of gross domestic product and more than a sixth of total employment.
But investment in Greek tourism remains hobbled by bureaucracy, restrictive regulations, highly seasonal demand, and a relatively concentrated number of destinations.
In a separate statement, Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis hailed the deal between easyCruise and Neorion.
Source: Cyprus Mail, Cyprus.


AEK Athens fans destroy ferry-boat in Greece
---Thursday, May 11, 2006. AEK Athens fans ruined and plundered the ferry "Ierapetra", during the route from Heraklio, Crete, to the port of Rafina in Attica. More specifically, about 700 AEK supporters went on board after the end of the Greek soccer cup final, between Olympiacos and AEK which took place in Crete. The victory of Olympiacos over AEK, with a 3-0 score, caused irritation within the supporters of AEK which caused damages in both the stadium and the ship.
Sources: Athina Saloustrou "AEK Fans Cause Damage to Ship". ERT, May 11, 2006. This article originally appeared at WikiNews.
Source: http://www.bloggernews.net


Transmed set to hit tanker sector running
---Athens-based Transmed Shipping is said to have made its first foray into the tanker sector, with an order for as many as nine medium-range (MR) products tankers.
The company is said to be contracting a series of 50,000-dwt newbuildings at SPP Shipbuilding of South Korea. However, a source familiar with the deal says the report is a little premature as the owner has not officially inked the contract.
"Transmed is visiting SPP this week and will be holding a technical meeting with the yard," said the source. "The owner wants as many as nine vessels but the exact number of newbuildings it will order will only be decided after the meeting."
A Transmed official says he cannot comment on the reports for reasons of confidentiality.
The newbuilding source says if Transmed is to firm up the order, the contract will most probably be backdated to the end of March as the ships do not comply with the new common structural rules. TradeWinds is told that SPP can deliver the tankers from 2008 and is quoting around $45m per ship.
Transmed is traditionally a dry-bulk operator. It launched a major capesize-newbuilding programme at Bohai Shipbuilding in 2003 resulting in a backlog of eight 174,000-dwt ships.
The owner was later said to have added two 363,000-dwt ore carriers at the same yard. However, a yard source says discussions for these units did take place but no deal materialised.
The first two capesizes were sold to China's Hebei Ocean Shipping (Hosco) for a reported $57m each. In October, a second pair were said to have gone for $65m each to Vogemann of Germany but it later emerged that they were taken by Cosco (Hong Kong) for close to $61m each.
The Greek owner is estimated to have pocketed a profit of around $46m on the sales as they were contracted at less than $38m each.
Cosco has taken delivery of the first ship from Bohai and the second will be delivered shortly.
Transmed's remaining four 174,000-dwt units are set for delivery from Bohai from 2007 to 2008.
Irene Ang and Gillian Whittaker Singapore and Athens, published: 12 May 2006
Source: www.tradewinds.no


Aries Maritime Transport Declares First Quarter 2006 Dividend
---ATHENS, Greece, May 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Aries Maritime Transport Limited (NASDAQ: RAMS) today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a dividend of $0.14 per share for the three-month period ended March 31, 2006. The dividend will be payable on May 31, 2006 to shareholders of record as of May 19, 2006.
Concurrent with the declaration of the first quarter dividend, the Board has established an additional reserve in anticipation of increased expenses related to additional repair, preventative maintenance work, and out of service time of the Citius, a 1986-built double-hulled products tanker. Repair and preventative maintenance work is now, according to latest estimations by the vessel's managers and Classification Society, expected to be completed around the end of June 2006. Aries now expects the costs of the works and other associated costs including increased steel replacement and vessel dry-docking work, originally scheduled for 2007, to total approximately $5.7 million. The loss of revenue from the Citius is expected to total approximately $3.8 million. In addition, the vessel's charterers have presented a claim for approximately $930,000 in alleged lost profits associated with the off-hire of the Citius covering the period December 3, 2005 to March 8, 2006. Aries is rejecting this claim on the ground that the charterer's remedy is to add any off-hire period to the charter term in accordance with the terms of the charter contract and with shipping industry practice. The charterer also has the option to cancel the charter but to date no such declaration has been received.
Under the management contract with Magnus Carriers, if actual operating expenses exceed the set budgeted amount, Magnus is responsible for 50 percent of the excess. The costs related to the repairs and preventive maintenance work will be included in the calculation of any such operating expenses overrun and Magnus will be responsible for 50 percent of any such excess over the period these expenses are accounted for.
The additional reserve established by the Board for the first quarter also takes into consideration out of service time and repair costs of the Bora, a 2000 built products tanker that has experienced interruption to trading as a result of repairs to the vessel's cargo pumps. The relevant repairs have now been completed and the vessel is expected to return to service shortly.
Mons S. Bolin, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Unforeseen issues occurring in the quarter related to the Citius and Bora and the necessity of establishing a related additional reserve resulted in the Company declaring a lower than expected dividend. While the Citius has been out of service longer than expected, we are confident that the repair and preventative maintenance work completed will enhance the vessel's long-term viability and marketability. The Citius has been a strong contributor to the Company's results in the past and due to the demand for products tankers combined with the low cost of capital of the vessel, we expect this contribution to continue. Once the Citius returns to service and considering the reserves the board have taken to date, we expect our dividend payout to return to more normalized levels, assuming no unforeseen events, since our 100% charter cover on the remainder of the fleet provides a strong base for good and visible earnings."
Earnings Conference Call
The Company announced that it will hold a conference call on May 15, 2006 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 2006. To access the conference call domestically, dial 800-500-0177 and use the reservation number 1459584; for international access dial 719-457-2679 and use the reservation number 1459584. Following the teleconference, a replay of the call may be accessed domestically by dialing 888-203-1112 or internationally by dialing 719-457-0820 and entering the reservation number 1459584. The replay will be available from Monday, May 15, 2006 to Monday, May 29, 2006. The conference call will also be webcast live on the Company's website: http://www.ariesmaritime.com/. A replay of the webcast will be available immediately following the call through Monday, May 29, 2006.
Source: http://www.ariesmaritime.com


Diana Shipping schedules First Quarter 2006 Earnings Release
A replay of the webcast will be available soon after the completion of the call and will be accessible on both www.dianashippinginc.com and www.viavid.net. A telephone replay will be available by dialing 1-877-519-4471 (for U.S.-based callers) or 1-973-341-3080 (for international callers); callers must use the PIN number 7358810.
Source: www.dianashippinginc.com


DryShips acquire its 29th Vessel
---May 10, 2006 ATHENS, Greece - DryShips Inc. (Nasdaq: DRYS), announced today that it has scheduled to take delivery of m.v. Atacama a 2001 built, 75,941 deadweight ton, or dwt, Panamax drybulk carrier on Thursday, May 11, 2006. The vessel will be renamed Maganari.
Upon delivery, Maganari will immediately be employed under the existing timecharter at a daily rate of $29,000 until February 2007 and thereafter at a daily rate of $18,400 until February 2008.
Source: http://www.dryships.com/ir.cfm


Excel Maritime Announces First Quarter 2006 Release Date, Conference Call & Webcast
.
Earnings Release: Wednesday, May 17, 2006, after 4:00 p.m. EDT
Conference Call and Webcast: Thursday, May 18, 2006, at 10:00 a.m. EDT
Conference Call details:
A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until May 25, 2006 by dialing 1-866-247-4222 (from the US), 0800-953-1533 (from the UK) or +44 1452-550-000 (all other callers). Access Code: 1838801#
Slides and audio webcast:
There will also be a live -and then archived- webcast of the conference call, through the internet through the Excel Maritime Carriers website (www.excelmaritime.com).
Participants to the live webcast should register on the website approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the webcast.
Source: www.excelmaritime.com


Omega Navigation to Present at Bear Stearns Conference
---PIRAEUS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 05/08/2006 -- Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONAV), a provider of global marine transportation services focusing on product tankers, announced today that George Kassiotis, the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer, and Gregory McGrath, the Company's Chief Financial Officer, will be presenting at the Bear Stearns Transportation Conference in New York at 8:45 am EDT on Wednesday, May 10, 2006.
The presentation will be available at the Investor Relations Section of Omega Navigation's corporate website at www.omeganavigation.com
About Omega Navigation Enterprises, Inc.
The Company is an international provider of global marine transportation services through the ownership and operation of product tankers and dry bulk carriers. It was incorporated in the Marshall Islands in February 2005. Its principal executive offices are in Piraeus, Greece and it has also offices in the United States. The company's product tanker fleet will consist of 6 double hull product carriers, which the company has agreed to acquire, with a total cargo-carrying capacity of 366,358 dwt and an average age of 1.2 years and with delivery expected between May 2006 and July 2006. The company's dry bulk fleet consists of 2 Handymax carriers with a total cargo-carrying capacity of 105,600 dwt and an average age of 2 years. Once all deliveries are completed, ONAV's fleet will consist of 8 vessels with a total capacity of 471,958 dwt and an average age of approximately 1.5 years. Furthermore, the company has options to acquire 4 additional ice class 1A double hull product carriers which are under construction and are expected to be available for delivery between March 2007 and September 2007. Omega Navigation's shares started trading on the NASDAQ National Market in the United States under the symbol "ONAV" on April 7, 2006 and are also listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited.
Source: http://www.marketwire.com


Stealthgas to acquire three LPG carriers expanding fleet to 27 vessels
---May 8, 2006 ATHENS, GREECE - STEALTHGAS INC. (NASDAQ:GASS) made today several announcements as follows.
Fleet Developments:
STEATHGAS INC. announced today that it has entered into an agreement to acquire three additional LPG carriers, the "Sir Ivor", the "Lyne" and the "Gas Hope M" to be renamed the "Gas Nemesis".
The "Sir Ivor" will be acquired for a consideration of $16.7 million. It is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG carrier built in China in 2003 with a capacity of 5,030 cubic meters (cbm). Upon its expected delivery in May 2006, it will be deployed under a bareboat charter to a major LPG trader at the rate of USD 163,636 per calendar month until May 2009. Thereafter, at the charterer?s option, the bareboat charter can be extended for a further 12-month period at a rate of USD 171,717 per calendar month.
The "Lyne" will be acquired for a consideration of $11.0 million. It is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG carrier built in Japan in 1996 with a capacity of 5,014 cubic meters (cbm). Upon its expected delivery in May 2006, it will be deployed under a bareboat charter to a major LPG trader at the rate of USD 163,636 per calendar month until May 2009. Thereafter, at the charterer?s option, the bareboat charter can be extended for a further 12-month period at a rate of USD 171,717 per calendar month.
The "Gas Nemesis" will be acquired for a consideration of $10.5 million. It is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG carrier built in Japan in 1995 with a capacity of 5,000 cubic meters (cbm). Upon its expected delivery by the end of May 2006 or early June 2006, it will be deployed under an existing time charter to an oil major at a rate of USD 200,000 per calendar month until December 2006.
STEALTHGAS, INC. also announced that it has fixed a new time charter agreement for the "Gas Amazon", after the expiration of its current charter in May 2006, with a major international gas trader. The new charter is for a 12-month period commencing at the end of May 2006 or the beginning of June 2006 at the rate of USD 300,000 per calendar month. The "Gas Amazon" is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG carrier built in 1992 with a capacity of 6,526 cubic meters (cbm).
Finally, STEALTHGAS, INC. announced that as of April 3, 2006 the ?Feisty Gas? has been renamed the "Gas Zael". The "Gas Zael" is a Fully-Pressurized (F.P.) LPG carrier built in Japan in 2001 with a capacity of 4,250 cubic meters (cbm).
New Credit Facility:
In addition, STEALTHGAS INC. has negotiated and agreed in principle to a new credit facility with Fortis Bank, which replaces the existing Fortis Bank credit facility. The new credit facility will facilitate the acquisitions of the three additional vessels, the "Sir Ivor", the "Lynne" and the "Gas Nemesis".
The new credit facility provides for an increased amount of up to $79.85 million with repayment terms over 10 years at a margin of 75 basis points over LIBOR based on the current loan to value ratio, as opposed to the original amount of $ 50.4 million, all of which was fully drawn, with repayment terms over eight years at a margin of 90 basis points over LIBOR under the previous Fortis Bank credit facility. The new credit facility will be secured by the nine existing vessels that secured the previous facility plus the three new additional vessels to be acquired as mentioned above.
President and CEO Harry Vafias commented: "We are particularly pleased with these new announcements, as they demonstrate that we are completely on track with the development and expansion of our company within the context of our strategy, as we have outlined it publicly to the investment community. With 27 LPG carriers, STEALTHGAS INC. reinforces its position as the global leader in terms of owned vessels in the 3,000 cbm to 8,000 cbm segment on which we focus. Furthermore, the acquisition of these three additional vessels and their immediate deployment under long term charters will enhance our revenues and profitability and is within our strategy to seek visible and secure revenues which enable us to generate stable and increasing returns to our shareholders."
Chief Financial Officer Andrew Simmons stated: "The new credit facility with its increased amount and improved terms demonstrates our company?s standing and credibility and the support we get from our lenders, which enables us to realize our expansion plans aimed to increase shareholder return, whilst still maintaining our debt at a prudent and manageable level."
--- To Updated Fleet Profile and Fleet Deployment, visit http://www.stealthgas.com/index.php
Source: http://www.stealthgas.com


TEN Limited completes delivery of nine-vessel western petroleum fleet
---TEN becomes one of the largest independent ice-class operators in the world
Source: http://www.tenn.gr


TOP Tankers Q1 Net Jumps On Higher Voyage Revenues - Update
---RTTNews) - TOP Tankers Inc. (TOPT | charts | news | PowerRating), a transportation service provider, on Thursday announced first quarter results, posting a jump in profit on higher revenues. The company's stock is trading up 8.35%. The Athens, Greece-based company reported net income of $30.40 million or $1.06 per share, up from $19.12 million or $0.69 per share in the year-ago period. This year's results include net charges of $3.25 million or $0.12 per share of special items.
EBITDA for the just concluded quarter was $55.85 million, up from $29.72 million in the previous year. Operating income increased to $38.21 million from $20.98 million last year. Voyage revenues for the first quarter rose to $101.75 million from $47.29 million in the same period last year.
As of March 31, 2006, the company's fleet size was 27 vessels or 2.6 million dwt, including 13 vessels sold and leased back for a period of 5 to 7 years, as compared to 18 vessels or 1.3 million dwt on March 31, 2005.
For the first quarter, the company had approximately 72% of the fleet's operating days on long-term employment contracts. Eight of its Suezmax tankers operated in the spot market, earning on average $61,802 per vessel per day on a time charter equivalent or TCE basis. The Handymax fleet earned, on average, $21,735 per vessel per day on a TCE basis.
Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the quarter was $24.86 million. As of December 31, 2005, cash and cash equivalents was $17.46 million.
TOPT currently has risen 67 cents from the previous close to $8.69 on 2.34 million shares.
Source: http://www.tradingmarkets.com. Thursday, May 11, 2006; Posted: 01:14 PM


Quintana Maritime Reports First Quarter Results
First Quarter 2006 results
For the first quarter of 2006, Quintana reported net income of $5.4 million, or $0.23 per diluted share on $22.1 million of net charter revenues. In the corresponding period in 2005, the Company incurred start-up expenses of $157,000, or $0.02 per diluted share. Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was $15.2 million. Quintana owned and operated 10 vessels in the first quarter, with the full fleet earning an average time-charter-equivalent rate of approximately $23,935 per day during the period.
Source: http://www.quintanamaritime.com/press_releases.html


Vecom & Unimarine form alliance of key suppliers to the Marine Industry
The alliance allows Vecom to return as a direct supplier to the marine industry after an absence of 10 years. During this time Vecom was always, but indirectly involved in the industry producing cleaning and maintenance chemicals under a private label for Drew-Ashland and Marine Care. Vecom has been active in the marine industry since 1953.
The Unimarine Group has been a well known supplier to the marine industry for over a decade. The company has a worldwide network for the supply of products and services to the marine industry and the Group is comprised of the following divisions:
Vecom Marine will expand its network actively in the coming months and distinguish itself by offering reliable and consistent quality products and services, and as in the past, its approach to the market will be characterized by flexibility and strong customer focus.
Source: http://www.bymnews.com, Monday, 08 May 2006 Company news: