22 May 2013 22:50 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--Eitzen Chemical, one of the largest chemical shippers, reported on Wednesday a first-quarter loss of $10.7m (€8.3m) during a period of financial restructuring for the troubled firm.
The loss fell below Eitzen’s $16.8m deficit in the same period of 2012. This year-on-year improvement, along with other factors, prompted Eitzen chairman Aage Figenschou to talk of a “robust outlook” for the company and for the chemical shipping sector.
“I haven’t felt so good for awhile,” Figenschou said in an earnings call, reciting a number of shipping benchmarks that have improved for the Danish firm.
Eitzen’s time-charter rates for its 50-vessel fleet increased by 9% in the quarter, Figenschou said, and utilisation levels should improve this year because the firm expects no new vessel orders.
“We can see that the fleet will be flat or shrinking in years to come,” Figenschou said.
Chemical shipping, like the greater shipping industry, has suffered in recent years from too many ships chasing too few cargoes since the economic downturn of 2008.
Eitzen has not had a profitable year since 2007. The company restructured about $770m of debt in the first quarter from short term to long term, according to its quarterly report.
Over the past five years, Eitzen’s annual losses have totaled $848m, which is roughly the value of its fleet at the end of March ($844m).
($1 = €0.78)
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