Hvide Marine Struggles to Return to Black

Monday, November 15, 1999
Hvide Marine Incorporated reported a net loss of $20.1 million or on revenues of $86 million for the quarter ended September 30, 1999. In the year-earlier period, the company had net income of $3.9 million on revenues of $100.1 million. Results in the current quarter and year-to-date have been adjusted to reflect the consolidation, as of September 30, 1999, of Lightship Tankers, LLC, a 50.75 percent-owned subsidiary, which was previously accounted for under the equity method. On an operating basis (results from operations before interest and taxes), the company had an operating loss of $6.2 million during the 1999 quarter versus operating income of $19.0 million in the 1998 quarter. "These results, while disappointing, were in line with our expectations," commented Jean Fitzgerald, chairman, president and CEO. "Continued strength in our tanker and towing operations was more than offset by weakness in the offshore sector, higher interest charges, and professional fees and expenses associated with our Chapter 11 filing. We hope to put these expenses behind us and emerge from Chapter 11 by year end or early next year. By then, conditions in the offshore sector - and particularly the Gulf of Mexico - are expected by many industry experts to show improvement." For the nine months ended September 30, 1999, revenues of $265.4 million were off 10 percent from $296 million a year ago. The company had a net loss of $52.9 million or in the 1999 nine months versus net income, before an extraordinary item, of $21.4 million in the 1998 nine months. Revenues from the company's Seabulk Offshore unit fell to $32.2 million from $60.1 million a year earlier, reflecting lower worldwide day rates and reduced international utilization. In the Gulf of Mexico, dayrates for Seabulk Offshore's 21 supply boats averaged $3,538 or percent below the comparable 1998 figure of $6,474, although utilization rose to 74 percent from 55 percent. Seabulk Offshore's 33 Gulf of Mexico crewboats averaged $1,754 and a 75 percent utilization rate versus $2,333 and 78 percent, respectively, a year earlier. For Hvide Marine Towing, which operates a fleet of 37 offshore and harbor tugs in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Florida and Gulf coasts, revenues of $10.9 million for the quarter ended September 30, 1999 were down slightly from last year's quarter, when the fleet numbered 41 vessels. Revenues from the Hvide's marine transportation sector were up more than 50 percent to $43 million, primarily as a result of the completion and deployment of the company's Lightship Class tankers, which consist of five newly constructed, double-hull chemical and petroleum product carriers.

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