The containership chartering company also increased its operating revenue by $28.4 million in its first full quarter since merging with Poseidon Container Holdings.
Containership chartering company Global Ship Lease (GSL) more than doubled its first-quarter net income this year after completing its merger with Poseidon Container Holdings in late 2018, the company announced Tuesday.
GSL, headquartered in London and traded on the New York Stock Exchange, reported a net income of $10.1 million in the first quarter compared to $4.2 million during the same period in 2018. The company reported an operating revenue of $64.5 million during the three months ending March 31, which was a $28.4 million increase compared to the first quarter of 2018.
The improved operating revenue was “principally due to the addition of the GSL Valerie in June 2018 and the Poseidon Containers Fleet on November 15, 2018, partially offset by reduced revenue from GSL Ningbo as the charter for this vessel renewed at a lower rate in September 2018,” GSL said in the earnings announcement.
GSL and Poseidon’s merger, which was accomplished through a stock-for-stock transaction, doubled GSL’s fleet from 19 to 38 ships. The fleet’s ownership days increased by 111% to 3,420 days, which GSL again credited to the GSL Valerie and Poseidon Containers Fleet, and it had a 99.8% utilization, GSL said
“Amid consistently strong demand for our high-specification containerships, which are focused in vessel classes experiencing net supply contraction, we have made substantial progress in extending our forward contract coverage and locking in contracted cash flow at a time when charter rates have shown significant improvement,” GSL Executive Chairman George Youroukas said in a statement. “In particular, a recent surge of demand for high reefer capacity post-Panamax vessels has enabled us to secure profitable, multiyear charters for some of the older vessels in our fleet.”
The earnings report came one day after GSL announced it had agreed to new five-year charters with Mediterranean Shipping Company for the 8,667-TEU GSL Tianjin, built in 2005, and OOCL Qindao, built in 2004. The charters for the ships — tied for the fifth-largest capacity in GSL’s fleet and to be renamed MSC Tianjin and MSC Qingdao, respectively — are expected to commence upon redelivery of the vessels by the current charters during the late second quarter or early third quarter, GSL said.
CMA CGM currently charters the GSL Tianjin for a daily charter rate of $13,000 with a latest expiry date in the third quarter. OOCL charters the OOCL Qingdao for a daily charter rate of $14,000 with a latest expiry date in the second quarter.
GSL this year also agreed to long-term charters with ZIM for the 5,936-TEU containerships Dimitris Y and Ian H, which are expected to commence in June and July in direct continuation of the current charters; Maersk Line for the 5,936-TEU containership Tasman, which is expected to commence in July upon the completion of the current charter; and Hapag-Lloyd for the 9,115-TEU containership UASC Al Khor, which is a direct continuation of its current charter and is expected to commence in July with redelivery in the second quarter of 2022.
“Our success in securing six longer-term charters in 2019 adds approximately $146 million, or 21.4%, to midpoint contracted net revenue, improving forward charter cover and cash flow visibility,” said GSL CEO Ian Webber in a statement. “Altogether, we are ensuring that GSL is in a position to fully benefit from opportunities arising out of the ongoing market recovery.”