Competitive Market Affecting Horizon Lines

Horizon Lines second-quarter adjusted EBITDA increased 7.4% from the same period a year ago, driven primarily by higher revenue container volumes and improved fuel recovery, according to Steve Rubin, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer.

 
“An 8.3% improvement in operating revenue versus the second quarter of 2013 was generated largely by a 10.8% revenue container volume increase across our three markets,” Mr. Rubin said. “In addition, growth in non-transportation services revenue in our Alaska market resulted from a protracted seafood season. These favorable variances were partially offset by a 3.8% decrease in average revenue per container. The decline in our container rates was primarily due to a shift in cargo mix to include more automobiles and a change in overall market conditions.”

Speaking about the future prospects, the company expects 2014 revenue container loads to be above 2013 levels.

“This projected volume growth takes into consideration the estimated impacts of a competitor that entered the Puerto Rico Gulf service in May 2013, as well as a second vessel being added by a competitor in the Hawaii service during the fourth quarter of 2014, partially offset by the full-year impact of adding a bi-weekly Jacksonville sailing to our southbound service between Houston, Texas and San Juan, Puerto Rico,” Horizon Lines said in a release.

According to the company, overall, container rates are expected to be below 2013 levels due to competitive market conditions and a slight shift in cargo mix, particularly an increase in automobile volume. The vessel capacity added in Puerto Rico in 2013 will continue to impact rates, and the new vessel capacity expected to be added in Hawaii in 2014 could also impact rates as well.

“We will experience increases in expenses associated with our revenue container volumes, including our vessel payroll costs and benefits, stevedoring, port charges, wharfage, inland transportation costs, and rolling stock costs, among others. Although the number of vessels being dry-docked in 2014 is less than 2013, the costs associated with repositioning vessels and expenses related to spare vessels will slightly exceed 2013 levels. However, the majority of costs associated with repositioning vessels was incurred in the first half of 2014 whereas the costs were more evenly distributed throughout 2013,” the company said.

“We expect 2014 financial results to approximate 2013 results, with 2014 adjusted EBITDA projected between $90.0 million and $95.0 million, compared with $95.2 million in fiscal 2013.

Based on our current level of operations, we believe cash flow from operations and borrowings available under the ABL Facility will be adequate to support our business plans. We expect total liquidity during the remainder of 2014 to range from a low of approximately $58.0 million during the third quarter, then build over the balance of the year and end 2014 at approximately $78.0 million.”

Press Release, July 31, 2014

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