Rickmers Maritime to pay unchanged quarterly distribution

Rickmers Maritime will pay an unchanged distribution per unit of 0.6 US cent (0.75 Singapore cent) for the third quarter.

This came on the back of a 1 per cent rise in charter revenue to US$36.6 million for the three months ended Sept 30.

Vessel operating expenses inched up 2 per cent to US$9 million, due to a contractual increase in fixed operating expenses and vessel management fees.

However, this was offset by reduced finance expenses, which fell 47 per cent to US$5.8 million, as a result of reduced outstanding bank loan balances and the expiry of interest rate swaps contracts.

Consequently, net profit rose by 59 per cent to US$13.1 million.

Rickmers successfully deleveraged its balance sheet further during the reporting quarter, repaying US$20.5 million of secured bank loans, thereby lowering its outstanding secured bank loans to US$456.1 million.

The trust's cash balance stood at US$57.8 million.

Rickmers achieved vessel utilisation rate of 99.9 per cent during the quarter. Its fleet of 16 containerships is fully chartered out, all of which are on fixed-rate time charters with an average remaining charter period of 2.5 years.

Through existing charter agreements, the trust has US$372.1 million of secured revenue between Oct 1 and the expiry of the last charter party contract in 2019.

Rickmers Maritime's fleet is fully employed this year and, so far, 83 per cent employed in 2014.

With the majority of the fleet employed till 2015, the existing leases will continue to generate ongoing positive cash flow.

The 0.6 US cent a unit distribution will be paid on Nov 27.