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Write-offs and impairments drag Dryships into the red

Write-offs and impairments drag Dryships into the red
Dryships has announced a $24m loss for the fourth quarter and $47.5m loss for 2014 as vessel impairments and refinancing costs tipped it into the red for both periods.

Were it not for a $38.1m impairment on one of its vessels in Q4, the company would have been in the black to the tune $14.1m. Without that impairment and refinancing costs relating to majority-owned subsidiary Ocean Rig, the company would have been in profit by $23m for the year.

Fortunes were divided for the company's mixed fleet. It's 39 dry bulk vessels earned an average time charter equivalent rate of $12,974 per day in the fourth quarter, compared to $13,303 per day in Q4 2013. For the 10-strong tanker fleet, earnings more than doubled to $26,003 per day from $12,963 per day in Q4 2013.

Commenting on the results, ceo and chairman George Economou stated: “The drybulk market remains challenging but we feel that we are getting closer to the bottom with each passing day as the increased scrapping activity of older vessels this year indicates. With no newbuildings on order, Dryships is better positioned than most of its peers in this downturn and with its large amount of spot market exposure is uniquely placed to take advantage of any increase in freight rates.

For the tanker market, Ecnomou was bullish: "Our fourth quarter results include only in a limited way the stronger freight market that started since last November, which will be more fully reflected in our first quarter results. With few newbuilding deliveries and healthy demand driven by the lower oil price, the strong tanker market should extend well into 2016.”