Higher Charter Rates Help Safe Bulkers Remain Profitable

Monaco-based dry bulk shipping company Safe Bulkers wrapped up the third quarter of this year with a profit, driven by an increase in charter rates.

The company remained profitable although its net income dropped by 36 percent to USD 5.2 million in Q3 2019 from USD 8.1 million in the corresponding quarter a year earlier.

“In the third quarter of 2019 we entered into charters at higher rates than the first half of 2019. As a result we had a profitable quarter despite the down time of several vessels due to scrubber retrofitting,” Loukas Barmparis, President of Safe Bulkers, explained.

Net revenues increased by 1 percent to USD 50.7 million in the third quarter of 2019, compared to USD 50.1 million in the same period in 2018, mainly as a result of a marginal increase in charter rates, despite the decrease in operating days.

The company operated 41.00 vessels on average during the third quarter of 2019, earning a time charter equivalent (TCE) rate of USD 13,311, compared to 40.43 vessels and a TCE rate of USD 13,265 in the quarter ended September 30, 2018.

Vessel operating expenses increased by 9 percent to USD 16.8 million for the third quarter of 2019 compared to USD 15.4 million for the same period in 2018, mainly as a result of dry docking expense.

In line with its environmental social responsibility policies, Safe Bulkers is undertaking investments by retrofitting scrubbers on 20 vessels and ballast water treatment systems on 38 ships. By the end of 2019, the company expects to complete 3 remaining BWTS installations and six scrubber retrofits.

“We remain focused on implementing our environmental investments installing scrubbers on approximately half of our fleet and completing tank cleaning in the other half in anticipation of the effectiveness of the IMO sulphur cap regulations in 2020,” Barmparis concluded.

Safe Bulkers’ fleet currently comprises more than 40 Panamax, Kamsarmax, Post-Panamax and Capesize vessels, with one Post-Panamax on order.