Greece's Stealthgas, shipowners primarily serving the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sector, announce its unaudited financial and operating results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2012
CEO Harry Vafias commented on the detail of the report as follows:
I am very pleased with the results we announced today. Our financial performance continues to improve as a result of a strengthening LPG market.
The Company's bottom line bears evidence to the solid environment we operate in and to our efforts to take advantage of the increased chartering activity while at the same time we continue our efforts to contain the cost base. As previously announced, during the first quarter we managed to conclude a number of long-term charters, which is usually a sign of positive market expectations. As a result, the forward coverage of our revenues has increased to 80% for 2012 and 55% for 2013.
In terms of fleet capacity, during the first quarter we sold one vessel, Gas Tiny, and took delivery of one newbuilding vessel, Gas Husky. In the second quarter, we delivered Gas Kalogeros to her new owners on May 4th and we expect to take delivery of our last newbuilding vessel, Gas Esco, in June. The remaining capital expenditure for the delivery of the vessel will be covered by bank financing under an existing loan agreement.
The company continues to have moderate leverage and improved cash balances. We are now in a position to expand and renew our fleet and continue to look at opportunities for modern vessels.