GSL Upbeat on Small, Mid-Sized Boxships

Despite the depressed overall market, UK’s containership lessor Global Ship Lease (GSL) remains encouraged by the longer-term prospects for small and mid-sized vessels that are the focus of the company’s strategy.

“The supply/demand dynamics for those vessels continue to move in the direction of equilibrium, driven by record levels of vessel scrapping, an orderbook heavily skewed towards very large ships, and the continued growth of the non-mainlane trades most reliant upon our vessels,”¬†Ian Webber, GSL’s CEO, explained.

The announcement comes on the back of the firm’s financial results which show that GSL suffered a net loss of 68.2 million in 2016, widened from a net loss of USD 31.9 million seen in 2015.

Operating revenues stood at USD 166.5 million in 2016, against USD 164.9 million recorded in 2015. According to the company, operating revenues were higher mainly due to the full-year contribution of OOCL Qingdao and OOCL Ningbo,¬†offset by reduced revenue after the sale of Ville d’Aquarius and Ville d’Orion, the effect of the amendments to the charters of Marie Delmas and Kumasi and increased offhire from six scheduled drydockings in 2016, compared to only one in 2015.

Additionally, adjusted EBITDA amounted to USD 114.7 million in 2016, compared to EBITDA of USD 108.8 million in 2015.

“In 2016, we maintained a strong focus on maximizing the profitability of our long-term, fixed-rate time charters and ensuring our insulation and resilience in the face of a challenging market environment. Throughout the year, we made progress in reducing our vessel operating costs, successfully extending the contract durations of two of our vessels chartered to CMA CGM, and meaningfully strengthening our balance sheet,” Webber added.

GSL’s fleet is currently comprised of 18 vessels, with 15 of them chartered to CMA CGM and three to OOCL.