Rickmers Maritime's Q1 payout flat at 0.6 US cent each

SINGAPORE - Lower fleet utilisation and reduced charter rates led to decreased revenue for container ship operator Rickmers Maritime, which reported a flat distribution per unit of 0.6 US cents in the first quarter.

Its trustee manager reported that net profit for the three months ended March 31 fell by 8 per cent to US$9.85 million (S$12.7 million), as charter revenue declined 4 per cent to US$33.9 million.

Two of its ships had been re-positioned in preparation for their new deployment for a major client, Maersk Line.

Another ship was idled due to engine problems, causing fleet utilisation in the first quarter to fall to 94.3 per cent.

Vessel operating costs also went up by 13 per cent to US$9.9 million.

Rickmers said this was due to expenses made for the repair of the ship with the engine problem, as well as higher bunker fuel incurred to position the voyages of the two ships.

The declared distribution will be paid to unitholders on June 4.

Rickmers units closed up half a cent to 29.5 cents today. It reported its earnings after markets closed.