Costamare Modernizes Fleet, Enjoys Higher Rates

Costamare, Athens-based owner and provider of containerships for charter, continued its fleet renewal efforts in the fourth quarter of 2019.

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The containership owner said that it bought four second-hand ships: two 2009-built boxships, Vela and JPO Virgo, and two 2010-built boxships, Vulpecula and Volans, all featuring 4,258 TEU in capacity.

“We acquired all four vessels using cash in hand and we are currently in advanced discussions with a leading European financial institution for their financing,” the company added.

Meanwhile, Costamare sold four oldies: Sierra II, built in 1991, the sale of which was announced earlier.

The company also sold 1991-built Namibia II, 1992-built Reunion, and 2000-built Neapolis, which is slated for delivery to its new owners in January 2020. All the sold vessels had an average capacity standing at around 2,000 TEU.

The company entered into four separate loan agreements with European and U.S. financial institutions for a total amount of up to USD 265 million.

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 5 years.

“During the fourth quarter and the year, net income and earnings per share increased substantially boosted by higher charter rates and the addition of new ships,” Gregory Zikos, Chief Financial Officer of Costamare Inc., commented.

“During the year 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 twelve months, which positions us favorably, should market momentum continue.”

During the fourth quarter of 2019, the company’s net income increased by 82% to USD 35.9 million compared to USD 19.7 million recorded in Q4 2018.

Costamare said that its adjusted net income available to common stockholders increased by 189% to USD 38.4 million in Q4 2019 compared to USD 13.3 million in Q4 2018. Voyage revenues increased by 17% year-on-year to USD 124.5 million, mainly due to revenue earned by its newly acquired vessels and higher charter rates and lower off-hire days.

For the year ended December 2019, Costamare’s net income reached USD 99 million, up from USD 67.2 million earned in 2018.

The company has a fleet of 76 containerships, with a total capacity of approximately 549,000 TEU, including five newbuild containerships currently under construction.