GSL Sees Improvement in Spot Market Charter Rates

UK-based containership charter owner Global Ship Lease (GSL) posted a net income of USD 6.8 million in the first quarter of 2017, higher than a net income of USD 4.6 seen in the same period of 2016. 

EBITDA for the quarter stood at USD 28 million, against EBITDA of USD 29.3 million recorded in 1Q 2016.

“During the first quarter of 2017, we continued to execute our core strategy, maximizing the value of our long-term time charters with high-quality counterparties, maintaining high levels of vessel utilization and closely controlling costs. Our success in this regard has enabled us to continue generating strong, stable cashflows,” Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of GSL, pointed out.

“With high levels of scrapping and minimal vessel ordering in the year-to-date, we have seen significant improvement in spot market charter rates in the last few weeks. This trend has been particularly pronounced for the mid-sized and smaller vessel classes where we focus,” Webber further said.

From January to March 2017, the company’s fleet generated operating revenues from fixed-date time charters of USD 39.6 million, down USD 3 million on operating revenues of USD 42.6 million for the corresponding quarter in 2016.

The reduction in revenue is mainly due to 68 fewer operating days, mainly as a result of three dry-dockings in the quarter, compared to none in the prior period, and to the prior period being a leap year, together with the effect of the amendments to the charters of Marie Delmas and Kumasi. The previous charter rate of USD 18,465 per day for these vessels was reduced to USD 13,000 per day.

“While most of our vessels continue on their current charters for multiple years, we are encouraged by the improvement in the spot market, which, if sustained, will benefit those vessels that are due to become open later this year and early next,” Webber concluded.

As of March 31, 2017, GSL’s fleet comprised 18 on-the-water vessels of which 15 are chartered to CMA CGM and three to Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL).

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