Mercator Lines Profit Hit by Low Bulk Freight Rate

By George Backwell
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
Bulk carrier fore-deck: Image courtesy of Mercator Lines

Mercator Lines (Singapore) reported a revenue of US$ 16.5 million for Q1 2015, an increase of 19% as compared to correspoding period in the previous previous year, however a net loss of US$ 7.1 million for the quarter as against a loss of USD 6.7 million in the corresponding period in the previous year.

Financial Highlights for Q1 FY 2015:

  • Revenue at USD 16.5 million – an increase of 19% as compared to USD 13.9 million in Q1 FY 2014
  • EBITDA at USD 3.6 million as against USD 3.4 million in Q1 FY 2014. The Company continues to enjoy a healthy EBITDA margin of 22%.
  • Time Charter Equivalent (TCE) rate achieved at around USD 12,083 per day vs. average market rate of USD 6,304 per day in Q1 FY 2015, indicating a premium of 92%.
  • Debt to equity ratio at 0.61 times

The revenue for Q1 FY 2015 was at USD 16.5 million as against USD 13.9 million in Q1 FY 2014. The Company reported a net loss of USD 7.1 million for the quarter as against a loss of USD 6.7 million in the corresponding period previous year. The Company has achieved an excess of 92% in the per day TCE earnings at USD 12,083 as compared to average market rate of USD 6,304 per day in Q1 2015. The balance sheet remains healthy with a debt to equity ratio of 0.61 times as on 30 June 2014.

The dry bulk shipping industry is witnessing one of the most challenging times with the market rate for Panamax vessels closing at a low of USD 3397 per day as on 30 June 2014. The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) dropped to 850 points as on 30 June 2014 as against a high of 2277 points on 31 December 2013. The average market rate for Q1 FY 2015 was USD 6,304 per day as against USD 7,775 in corresponding period previous year indicating almost a 19% fall. Lower than expected cargo demand in China and massive oversupply of tonnage are primarily responsible for lower freight rates.

Said Mr. Shalabh Mittal, Managing Director and CEO of Mercator, “We are happy to report a growth in revenue by 19% despite a challenging market. The Company is monitoring the markets closely and would take all appropriate steps required to overcome the challenging market environment. Maximising revenues, cost rationalisation and better working capital management would continue to be focus areas for the Company”.

About Mercator Lines (Singapore) Limited
Mercator, which commenced operations in 2005, has established a market presence in the dry bulk transport market, specializing in the transportation of dry bulk commodities such as coal, iron ore and grains. With exposure to the infrastructure sectors like Steel and Power of India and China, Mercator is well positioned to benefit from the strong growth of these countries.

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