Ultrabulk Braves Stormy Dry Bulk Market

Ultrabulk Shipping recorded a positive result for 2014 despite the prevailing adverse and volatile conditions in the dry bulk shipping market.

“This was achieved mainly due to the long term balanced book, the ability to generate margins from arbitrage business, a solid team performance, and a continued strong focus on risk management. Level of activity for the year remained stable compared with 2013,” the company said in its annual performance report.

Ultrabulk Shipping posted a USD 5.39 million profit in 2014, against a USD 12.08 m for the same period in 2013.

The company controlled an average of 123 vessels during 2014, which was on par with 122 vessels for the previous year.

“Cargo contractual commitments made during the year were matched by corresponding long term vessel time charters whereby the company was able to maintain a balanced portfolio,” the report said.

A further 22 vessels will be delivered by 2018 as physical hedge against the company’s COA cargo commitments. The newbuildings include units within all size segments where the company is active.

The total number of physical ship days in 2014 increased to 42,013 days slightly up from the 40,602 recorded in 2013. Cargo lifted was stable at 40.1 million tons, compared to 40.05 million tons for the previous year.

The Board of Directors proposed not to pay out any dividend for 2014, “in order to maintain Ultrabulk Shipping’s financial flexibility and thus be prepared to address the challenges and the business opportunities that may arise in 2015.”

The company expects an EBITDA of USD 0-8 million based on the company’s current coverage and difficult and very volatile market conditions.

End of February 2015 Ultrabulk Shipping had cargo coverage of 99% on the known vessel days in 2015.

In terms of market focus in 2015,  Ultrabulk said it would resume developing partnerships and increasing earnings from operating activities.

“These efforts will be directed towards further developing triangular trades, specific commodities and trades, as well as deriving further synergies and creating new business opportunities based on the company’s business platform, ” Ultrabulk added.

The company expects freight rates to be lower this year amid dwindling demand.