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Rickmers Maritime swings to full year loss on $63m in impairment charges

Rickmers Maritime swings to full year loss on $63m in impairment charges
Shipping trust Rickmers Maritime has booked a loss for its 2014 full year results as it was hit by impairment charges of $63m, erasing the profit gained in the fourth quarter.

Net loss for the financial year ended 31 December 2014 was recorded at $15.96m as against a profit of $23.48m in 2013. Excluding the non-cash impairment charges of $63m, the shipping trust would have registered a 2014 profit of $47m.

Revenue for last year went down by 9% year-on-year to $130.33m due chiefly to renewed contracts at lower rates.

In the fourth quarter, however, Singapore-listed Rickmers returned to a profit of $11.19m as against a loss of $8.04m in the previous corresponding period, due mainly to a $2m gain from foreign currency exchange.

“Long term charter agreements with fixed rates secured near long term historical average level years ago have enabled the trust to deliver relatively consistently results over the years, even amid a prolonged downturn in the industry,” said Thomas Preben Hansen, ceo of Rickmers Trust Management, the trustee-manager of Rickmers Maritime.

“In the coming year, a number of these existing charter agreements are set to expire, and we are actively seeking to secure new employment for the relevant vessels prior to the end of the current contracts. These new agreements, however, will have to be made at spot rates that are likely to be lower,” he said.

Rickmers Maritime’s fleet has, through existing charter agreements, $220.1m of secured revenue between 31 December 2014 and the expiry of the last charter party contract in 2019. The fleet is 64% employed for 2015.

The trust has maintained a distribution per unit (DPU) of 0.60 cents, consistent with previous quarters.

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