Global Ship Lease Widens Net Loss
Although the container shipping market has improved in the past few months, UK-based Global Ship Lease (GSL) wrapped up 2017 with a full-year net loss of USD 77.3 million, compared to a loss of USD 68.2 million seen a year earlier.
The company reported Adjusted EBITDA of USD 110.3 million in 2017, against USD 114.7 million posted a year earlier.
“In 2017, we continued to benefit from our (…) long-term charters and strong relationships with top-tier liner companies. By maintaining full time charter employment for our fleet and extremely high utilization levels in line with our historical averages, we ensured that we would continue to generate consistent cashflows to support our deleveraging and growth efforts” Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, said.
“Over the course of 2017 and into early 2018, the overall container shipping industry has experienced a significant recovery, as continued strength in underlying freight demand has driven increasing supply/demand tension and upward pressure on both spot charter rates and asset values. Amid this promising market environment, we have been able to achieve satisfactory renewals at EBITDA positive levels with no downtime for vessels that have come open,” he added.
On October 19, 2017, GSL agreed a new time charter with CMA CGM for the 2005-built OOCL Tianjin which was subsequently renamed GSL Tianjin.
The company closed also in October 2017 the offering of USD 360 million aggregate principal amount of 9.875% first priority secured notes due 2022. The net proceeds, together with borrowings under a new USD 54.8 million super senior secured term loan facility and cash on hand, were used to refinance all outstanding debt comprising 10.000% notes due 2019, the revolving credit facility and the secured term loan.
GSL said it managed to reduce its net debt in December 2017 to USD 341.5 million from USD 375.1 million.
Last month, the company extended its charter with OOCL for the 2004-built OOCL Qingdao at a significantly lower rate.
On March 1, 2018, agreed to acquire a 2,800 TEU containership to service a time charter with French shipping major CMA CGM. The company said it would pay a price of USD 11.3 million for the 2005-built ship.
“Global Ship Lease is in an excellent position to pursue a range of value creation opportunities, as we have demonstrated with the vessel purchase recently announced,” Webber concluded.
As of December 31, 2017, GSL’s on-the-water fleet comprised eighteen vessels of which sixteen were chartered to CMA CGM and two to OOCL.