As expected the result was abit chui. The subsequent quarters will really reveal the mantle of this management. Unpredictable rates will definately create big challenges for the management. However, on the positive note, it also presents a good opportunity for the management to replenish its aging fleet.
- Revenue fell 25% while expense stayed relatively the same.(Freight rates plunging no?)
- Profit for the quarter fell 57% from USD 20 mil to USD 8.6 mil
- Balance sheet stayed relatively the same
- Operating Cashflow fell by 50%
Group turnover fell 25% in 3Q08 to US$18.2 million from US$24.2 million in 3Q07, reflecting the general decrease in dry bulk freight rates. The Baltic Dry Index (“BDI”) dropped significantly in recently months and averaged about 6,400 in 3Q08, 17% lower than 3Q07’s average of 7,700. The BDI was trading around the 3,000 level as at 30 September 2008.
The global financial crisis has had a significant impact on the shipping industry. Freight rates have been extremely volatile in the past few months, with the BDI reducing to around the 800 level currently from an all-time high of above the 11,000 level in May 2008.
The Company expects freight rates to continue to be subject to downward pressures in the coming quarter and for FY2009 and in view of this, the Company and the Group’s financial performance may be adversely affected.
Additionally the recent economic volatility has affected the market’s ability to place reasonably accurate valuations on vessels.
The Company is currently assessing the carrying book values of the Group’s vessels, to determine if an impairment charge will be necessary and will make the appropriate announcement in due course.
Subsequent to end September 2008, the Group acquired a second-hand vessel MV Zorina (approximately 48,000 dwt, and previously known as MV Marigold) for US$16 million. In addition, the Group’s subsidiary has signed a Memorandum of Agreement to acquire another second-hand vessel weighing 67,000 dwt for approximately US$4 million. This vessel will be delivered in mid-November 2008. In line with the Company’s intention to replace older vessels with younger vessels where possible, the Group disposed one of the oldest vessels in our fleet, MV Ally II, in early November. The Group’s total fleet size will therefore rise to 9 vessels and the total tonnage of approximately 460,000 dwt is 21% higher than the 380,000 dwt as at 31December 2007.
Furthermore, in late October, the Group obtained a new bank loan for an amount of US$10 million for the acquisition of MV Zorina.
The Group will maintain its cost-efficient structure and focus on keeping its fleet well-deployed and running efficiently. The year 2009 is expected to be a challenging one for the shipping industry due to the deterioration in the global economic situation.
However, the Group believes that its prudent expansion of tonnage, good customer relationships, focus on keeping a tight rein on expenses and strong balance sheet will enable it to seize opportunities and overcome challenges in the coming year.