Belships’ Earnings Up on Lighthouse Merger

The integration of Lighthouse Navigation into Norwegian bulk ship operator Belships has shown advantages in the spot trading market, according to the company.

Namely, the move saw Lighthouse Navigation deliver a net result of USD 1.3 million in the first quarter of 2019, despite challenging markets, while Belships’ net results increased to USD 2.5 million in the period.

Operating income was up at USD 31.1 million, compared to USD 20.5 million reported in the first quarter a year earlier.

The Oslo-based bulker owner and operator added that it has a USD 30 million fixed charter backlog, with 87 percent of ship days in the second quarter booked at USD 10,800.

Net earnings per ship stood at USD 11,359 per day versus net BSI index of net 7,634 per day for the same period in the previous year, mainly due to the optimized portfolio of period charter coverage and outsized spot earnings.

Belships further said that technical management for the ex-Lighthouse ships are in the process of being transferred to Belships Management (Singapore). Six ships were transferred so far, while the remaining three units will soon follow, thereby increasing Belships Management’s fleet to 20 vessels.

As part of its fleet expansion plans, the company recently acquired three vessels, where sellers agreed to receive partial consideration in shares.

Belships expects that further “ships for shares” transactions may be available, and intends to pursue such transactions where accretive, but anticipates that growth may also be achieved through cash acquisitions of vessels and long‐term vessel charters.

Looking ahead, the Ultramax and Supramax specialist said it expects positive results for the remaining part of 2019 due to the combination of a relatively low supply of new ships and IMO 2020 preparations.

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