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A good year for Vafias

New York: Nasdaq- listed StealthGas Inc. released its fourth earnings today, announcing profits of $7.8m for the three-month period and $29m for the year.The quarter's earnings are a 77.3% increase on Q4 2011's $3.4m, and the full year profit is 241.2% up on 2011's $8.5m.

The LPG tanker specialist attributed the increase in profits to an improved market, and higher earnings of new vessels which have replaced old tonnage. Significant drops in voyage expenses and operating expenses were due to a lower number of vessels being on the spot market and higher number of vessels under bareboat charters. Maintenance costs were also down as five vessels drydocked in 2012 compared to nine in 2011.

Harry Vafias, ceo of Stealthgas, commented, "The fourth quarter of 2012 was our best quarter over the last four years. Our sound sale and purchase and chartering strategies combined with stronger freight markets during the winter months resulted in net income for the quarter of $7.8 m, improving on our previous quarter, but more importantly up 77.3% compared to the same quarter of last year. We have recently time chartered the Gas Monarch for six months and extended the charters on the Sir Ivor and Lyne for nine months, while we continue to have six vessels trading in the spot market where there is strong activity.

"While trade growth is the distinctive factor for improvements in seaborne trade, it is equally important that there is a balance in the supply of new ships. This is what has differentiated us from most shipping sectors, since in the LPG sector we have not witnessed over the last couple of years the relentless growth in supply of vessels that has plagued other sectors. Indeed, we believe the fundamentals for LPG continue to be favorable. As a result, we believe it is an opportune time to grow the company further and consolidate our leadership position," Vafias summarised.

Posted 22 February 2013

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