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Costamare buys four panamax boxships as profit soars

New York-listed Costamare Inc. has acquired four secondhand panamax container vessels over the December 2019 and January 2020 period as the company announced a stellar rise in profit.

The four acquired boxships are the 2009-built Vela, 2009-built JPO Virgo, 2010-built Vulpecula, 2010-built Volans, all of which are of 4,258-teu in capacity.

Costamare said the four ships were acquired using cash and the company is in advanced discussions with a European financial institution for their financing.

Costamare recorded a net profit of $35.89m for the last quarter of 2019, a 82% jump compared to the same period of 2018. The annual profit for 2019 came up to $100m, up from $67.24m in 2018.

The Greek shipowner also sold four boxships: the 1991-built, 2,023-teu Sierra II, the 1991-built, 2,023-teu Namibia II, the 1992-built, 2,024-teu Reunion, and the 2000-built, 1,645-teu Neapolis.

“As part of our fleet renewal program, we acquired four panama vessels with an average age of about 11 years during the (fourth) quarter (of 2019) and disposed of an equal number of ships with an average age of 27 years,” said Gregory Zikos, cfo of Costamare.

“During the year [2019] larger vessels enjoyed a rising charter market and today there is limited supply available in the post-panamax sizes. We have 18 post-panamax ships coming off charter over the next 12 months, which positions us favourably, should market momentum continue,” he added.

Separately, Costamare has also entered into four different loan agreements with European and US financial institutions for a total amount of up to $265m.

The loan proceeds have been used for the refinancing of the existing indebtedness of four 2017-built, 11,010-teu containerships and for general corporate purposes. The new facilities will be repayable over five years.

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