Star Bulk Slashes Full-Year Loss

  • Business & Finance

Greek dry bulk shipping company Star Bulk Carriers has managed to narrow its full-year net loss to USD 153.8 million from USD 458.2 million recorded in 2015. 

According to Petros Pappas, CEO of Star Bulk, the recovery has been driven by an improved freight market and zero bank principal repayments.

The loss was accumulated from the sale of 15 vessels and from the impairment loss of USD 29.2 million due to the disposal of two ships and the cancellation of two newbuilding contracts.

In addition, Star Bulk’s loss included expenses of USD 4.2 million related to stock-based compensation as well as a write-off of unamortized deferred finance charges of USD 2.4 million and an unrealized gain on derivative instruments of USD 2.4 million.

In 2016, total net voyage revenues were USD 156.2 million, compared to USD 161.2 million in 2015. This decrease was primarily driven by the lower charter hire rates prevailing in the dry bulk market during 2016, compared to 2015.

The time charter equivalent (TCE) rate in 2016 was USD 6,260, lower from the TCE in 2015 which stood at USD 7,052.

Additionally, vessels operating expenses amounted to USD 98.8 million in 2016, against USD 112.8 million in 2015.

In September 2016, Star Bulk entered into a restructuring agreement with all 15 of its lenders under which some USD 223.9 million in debt principal repayments would be postponed until June 30, 2018.

The agreement was expected to help the company “successfully weather current market conditions even if they were to last well into 2019,” and position Star Bulk to take advantage of a subsequent market upturn.

Following this, the company completed its underwriting of over 11.9 million of its common shares at a price of USD 4.30 per share, raising up to USD 51.5 million of fresh funds it intended to use for general corporate purposes.

Star Bulk’s fleet currently includes 67 operating vessels and 5 newbuilding ships under construction at a shipyard in China. All of the newbuildings are expected to be delivered during 2017 and 2018. Additionally, the company has one chartered-in Supramax vessel, under a time charter expiring in September 2017.

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