Global Ship Lease acquires three boxships

GSL

Global Ship Lease, a containership charter owner, announced its unaudited results for the three and six month periods ended June 30, 2019.

Second Quarter and Year To Date Highlights

– Reported operating revenue of $63.1 million for the second quarter 2019. Operating revenue for the six months ended June 30, 2019 was $127.6 million.

– Reported net income available to common shareholders of $8.8 million for the second quarter 2019. For the six months ended June 30, 2019, net income available to common shareholders was $18.9 million.

– Generated $38.8 million of Adjusted EBITDA(3) for the second quarter 2019. Adjusted EBITDA for the six months ended June 30, 2019 was $79.3 million.

– Agreed to acquire three 2004-built, 7,849 TEU containerships for an aggregate purchase price of $48.5 million. Upon delivery during May 2019, the first ship, GSL Eleni, commenced a five-year charter with Maersk Line. The two remaining ships, GSL Kalliopi and GSL Grania, are expected to be delivered during the third quarter and will commence three-year charters with Maersk Line, with two consecutive one-year extensions at the charterer’s option. The three ships are expected to generate Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $32.0 million in aggregate for the median firm period, and a total of approximately $47.0 million if all options are exercised. With these additions, the Company’s fleet will comprise 41.0 ships with a total capacity of 224,162 TEU. A portion of the purchase price will be financed by borrowings under a new senior secured debt facility, totalling $37.0 million with a maturity of late 2024.

– Agreed a minimum 30-month / maximum 38-month charter with Maersk Line for the 2000-built, 5,936 TEU containership Tasman. The new charter commenced in July 2019 on the completion of the previous charter and is subject to a further 12-month extension at the charterer’s option. The charter is expected to generate approximately $5.3 million of Adjusted EBITDA for the median firm period and an additional approximate $4.4 million if the 12-month extension option is exercised.

– Agreed minimum 21-month / maximum 24-month charters with Zim for the 2000-built, 5,936 TEU containerships Dimitris Y and Ian H. The new charters commenced in June and July 2019 respectively, in direct continuation of their current charters, and are expected to generate approximately $4.4 million of Adjusted EBITDA per ship for the median firm period.

– Agreed new five-year charters with MSC for the 2005-built, 8,667 TEU GSL Tianjin and the 2005-built, 8,667 TEU OOCL Qingdao, which have been renamed MSC Tianjin and MSC Qingdao, respectively. The new charters commenced in June 2019 upon redelivery by the previous charterers and are expected to generate Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $25.6 million per ship for the median firm period.

– Agreed new charters, which commenced June 2019, for the 2005-built, 2,824 TEU GSL Valerie which is now chartered for 12 months to MSC at a fixed rate of $9,000 per day, and for the 2006-built, 5,095 TEU Orca I which is now chartered for minimum 12 months / maximum 24 months to Maersk Line at a fixed rate of $9,000 per day for the first 12 months, and $10,000 per day thereafter.

– Agreed a new charter for the 2003-built, 2,207 TEU GSL Keta, which commenced in late July 2019, for minimum 50 days / maximum 90 days to OOCL at a fixed rate of $8,700 per day.

George Youroukos, Executive Chairman of Global Ship Lease, stated, “By remaining highly active against a supportive fundamental backdrop, we have made excellent progress on multiple key initiatives throughout the first half of 2019. Net ship supply growth for the global containership fleet has remained limited or negative in the mid-sized and smaller segments on which we focus, and the trade lanes that rely upon our ships have demonstrated continued resilience, allowing the charter rate improvements initially experienced by our larger ships to spread across the entire fleet. In this encouraging environment, we have seized multiple opportunities to substantially increase our long-term charter coverage at attractive rates while maintaining a degree of exposure to the strengthening charter market. We also returned to growth with the acquisition of three high-quality ships on extremely attractive terms, expanding our long-term relationship with Maersk Line, the world’s largest container liner company. As the upcoming implementation of IMO 2020 regulations is expected to further accelerate already heightened scrapping, reduce effective supply by slowing ship speeds, and increase the competitive advantages of our modern, fuel-efficient ships, Global Ship Lease is in an excellent position to continue creating value for our shareholders.”

Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, commented, “As we have demonstrated throughout the year, our enhanced commercial platform, solid financial foundation, and attractive fleet focused on under-supplied, high specification, widely deployable mid-sized and smaller ships enable us to move quickly and confidently to seize a wide range of differentiated, value-creative opportunities. In conjunction with our success in expanding our contracted revenue stream and forward visibility, we have also continued to deleverage, ensuring that we are well positioned to further improve our balance sheet and extend debt maturities on an opportunistic basis. By continuing to execute this holistic strategy, we believe that we can unlock substantial additional value for our shareholders.”

Revenue and Utilization

The Company’s fleet of 39 ships, including GSL Eleni which was purchased on May 28, 2019 and commenced a five-year charter with Maersk Line, generated revenue from fixed-rate, mainly long-term time-charters of $63.1 million in the three months ended June 30, 2019, up $28.1 million (or 80.3%) on revenue of $35.0 million for the comparative period in 2018. The increase is principally due to the addition of the Poseidon Containers Fleet on November 15, 2018, offset by increased offhire days in the second quarter of 2019, and the GSL Valerie in June 2018, partially offset by reduced revenue from GSL Ningbo as the charter for this ship renewed at a lower rate in September 2018. There were 3,492 ownership days in the second quarter, an increase of 111.5% compared to 1,651 in the second quarter 2018 due to the purchase of the Poseidon Containers Fleet, the GSL Valerie and the GSL Eleni. The 174 days of offhire for dry-dockings in the three months ended June 30, 2019 were mainly attributable to one completed dry-docking, primarily to upgrade the ship to increase substantially its reefer capacity and four dry-dockings in progress as of June 30, 2019, one for regulatory reasons only and three for the upgrade of their reefer capacity along with the regulatory dry-docking which has been brought forward. With 18 days idle time for Tasman, GSL Valerie and Orca I prior to their delivery to their new charterers and 19 days of unplanned offhire days, utilization was 94.0%. In the comparative period of 2018, there were 18 days of planned offhire for regulatory dry-dockings, 13 idle days for GSL Valerie and three days of unplanned offhire, giving a utilization of 97.9%.

For the six months ended June 30, 2019, revenue was $127.6 million, up $56.4 million (or 79.2%) on revenue of $71.2 million in the comparative period, mainly due to the factors noted above, together with reduced revenue from MSC Qingdao as the charter for this ship was renewed at a reduced rate in March 2018.

In the three months ended June 30, 2019, we completed one dry-docking primarily to upgrade the ship to increase substantially its reefer capacity and four more were in progress as of June 30, 2019, three for the upgrade of their reefer capacity, and one for regulatory reasons only. In the second half of 2019, we anticipate a further two dry-dockings to upgrade reefer capacity, three for the installation of scrubbers and one for regulatory purposes. In each case of reefer upgrade and scrubber installation, the regulatory dry-docking has been or will be brought forward. There were two drydockings for regulatory purposes in 2018.

Vessel Operating Expenses

Vessel operating expenses, which include costs of crew, lubricating oil, repairs, maintenance, insurance and technical management fees, were $20.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to $10.0 million in the prior year period. The increase was due to 1,841 (up 111.5%) additional ownership days as a result of the acquisition of the Poseidon Containers Fleet and the additions of GSL Valerie and GSL Eleni. The average cost per ownership day in the quarter was $5,959, compared to $6,078 for the prior year period, down $119 per day, or 2.0%.

For the six months ended June 30, 2019, vessel operating expenses were $41.8 million, or an average of $6,042 per day, compared to $20.4 million in the comparative period, or $6,242 per day, a reduction of 3.2%.

Time Charter and Voyage Expenses

Time charter and voyage expenses comprise mainly commission paid to ship brokers, the cost of bunker fuel for owner’s account when a ship is off-hire or idle and miscellaneous costs associated with a ship’s voyage. Time charter and voyage expenses were $2.1 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to $0.2 million in the prior year period. The increase was mainly due to the addition of the Poseidon Containers Fleet, all of which incur such commission, compared to our legacy ships, where commission is paid only for those which have completed their initial charters to CMA CGM or OOCL and which have been employed on a new charter obtained with the assistance of a broker.

For the six months ended June 30, 2019, time charter and voyage expenses were $3.6 million, compared to $0.4 million in the comparative period.

Depreciation and Amortization

Depreciation and amortization for the three month period ended June 30, 2019 was $11.0 million, compared to $8.2 million in the second quarter of 2018. The increase was mainly due to the addition of the Poseidon Containers Fleet offset by the effect of lower book values for a number of ships following an impairment expense charged in December 2018 as well as a change in estimated scrap value per LWT with effect from January 1, 2019 from $250 to $400.

Depreciation for the six months ended June 30, 2019 was $21.7 million, compared to $16.3 million in the comparative period, with the reduction being due to the reasons noted above.

General and Administrative Expenses

General and administrative expenses were $2.1 million in the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to $1.5 million in the second quarter of 2018. The increase was mainly due to an increase in payroll and other costs associated with the Poseidon Transaction.

For the six months ended June 30, 2019, general and administrative expenses were $4.1 million, compared to $3.4 million in the comparative period in 2018, with the increase being due to the reasons noted above.

Adjusted EBITDA

As a result of the above, Adjusted EBITDA was $38.8 million for the three months ended June 30, 2019, up from $23.4 million for the three months ended June 30, 2018, with the increase being mainly due to the addition of the GSL Valerie in June 2018 and the Poseidon Containers Fleet on November 15, 2018.

Adjusted EBITDA for the six months ended June 30, 2019 was $79.3 million, compared to $47.0 million for the comparative period, with the increase being due to the reasons noted above.

Interest Expense and Interest Income

Debt as at June 30, 2019 totaled $875.6 million, comprising of $340.0 million of indebtedness under our 9.875% notes due 2022 (the “Notes”), $24.8 million of indebtedness under a secured term loan, both cross collateralized by 18 ships in the legacy GSL fleet, $490.1 million of bank debt collateralized by the Poseidon Containers Fleet, $7.7 million drawn under a growth facility and secured by GSL Valerie and $13.0 million of indebtedness under the new senior secured loan for the acquisition of GSL Eleni.

Debt at June 30, 2018 totaled $404.8 million, comprising $360.0 million outstanding on our Notes and $44.8 million under the secured term loan.

Interest expense for the three months ended June 30, 2019, was $18.7 million, an increase of $8.0 million, or 74.8%, on the interest expense for the prior year period of $10.7 million due to the assumption of debt associated with the Poseidon Transaction.

For the six months ended June 30, 2019, interest expense was $38.1 million, compared to $21.5 million for the six months ended June 30, 2018, with the increase mainly for the reason noted above.

Interest income for the three months ended June 30, 2019 was $0.4 million, the same as in the comparative quarter in 2018.

Interest income for the six months ended June 30, 2019 was $0.8 million, compared to $0.6 million in the comparative period in 2018.

Other Income, Net

Other income, net is mainly comprised of gains in bunkers following deliveries and redeliveries of ships from charterers and passenger income. Other income, net was $0.7 million in the three months ended June 30, 2019, compared to $9,000 in the prior year period; the increase was mainly due to the addition of the Poseidon Containers Fleet.

Other income, net was $1.2 million in the six months ended June 30, 2019, compared to $15,000 in the prior year period; the increase was mainly for the reason given above.

Taxation

Taxation for the three months ended June 30, 2019 was a charge of $56,000, compared to credit of $31,000 in the second quarter of 2018.

Taxation for the six months ended June 30, 2019 was a charge of $40,000, compared to a credit of $46,000 in the comparative period in 2018.

Earnings Allocated to Preferred Shares

The Series B preferred shares, issued on August 20, 2014, carry a coupon of 8.75%, the cost of which for the three months ended June 30, 2019 was $0.8 million, the same as in the comparative period. The cost was $1.5 million in the six months ended June 30, 2019, the same as in the comparative period.

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