Rickmers Maritime, which is affiliated to the Hamburg-based Rickmers Group, slumped to a $129.2 million loss in 2015 from a $16 million profit a year earlier on increased write offs on the value of its ships and depressed container charter rates.
The Container ship operator's charter revenue from its fleet of 16 container ships shrank by 17 percent to $108.5 million from $130.3 million last time.
The bulk of the full-year loss was in the fourth quarter when the deficit widened to $129.6 million from $16 million last time, due mainly to an impairment charge of $128.4 million. This took the impairment bill for the full year to $148 million against $63 million in 2014.
The Singapore-listed firm's impairments steal the spotlight, but they also hide the fact that the company's operations delivered a positive bottom line in an extremely weak container market.
“While the market remains depressed, we are seeing pockets of opportunities within the panamax segment,” said Soeren Andersen, ceo of Rickmers Trust Management (RTM), the trustee-manager of Rickmers Maritime.
“More vessels of our type are being deployed by feeder operators to serve the influx of large tonnage to move containers to hub ports. For example, Moni Rickmers is chartered to Maersk Line
’s intra-Asia feeder operator, MCC Transport. The depressed oil price also reduces our customers’ cost savings from utilising large containerships, making smaller vessels like ours more attractive to the market in the medium-term,” Andersen said.