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Global Ship Lease delivers another quarter of earnings growth

Global Ship Lease, Inc., an owner of containerships, announced its unaudited results for the three months ended March 31, 2022.

First Quarter 2022

  • Reported operating revenue of $153.6 million for the first quarter 2022, 2.1 times revenue of $73.0 million for the prior year period.
  • Reported net income available to common shareholders of $70.2 million for the first quarter of 2022, an increase of 1,571.4% or 16.7 times net income of $4.2 million for the prior year period. Normalized net income(3) after $4.6 million positive fair value adjustment on derivatives, a prepayment fee of $4.0 million on the full repayment of our Blue Ocean Junior Credit Facility and the associated non-cash write off of deferred financing charges of $0.1 million, was $69.7 million, 3.9 times normalized net income of $17.8 million for the prior year period which is after $5.8 million premium paid on the redemption in full of our 9.875% Senior Secured Notes due 2022 (“2022 Notes”) in January 2021, $3.7 million acceleration of deferred financing charges and $1.1 million acceleration of the amortization of the original issue discount both associated with the redemption of the 2022 Notes and the non-cash effect of $1.3 million for accelerated stock based compensation expense due to vesting and new awards of fully vested incentive shares, plus a prepayment fee of $1.6 million paid on the partial repayment of our Blue Ocean Junior Credit Facility.
  • Generated $94.5 million of Adjusted EBITDA(3) for the first quarter 2022, 2.1 times Adjusted EBITDA (3) of $44.2 million for the prior year period.
  • Earnings per share for the three months ended March 31, 2022 was $1.93, 14.8 times the earnings per share of $0.13 for the comparative period. Normalized earnings per share for the three months ended March 31, 2022 was $1.91, 3.4 times the Normalized earnings per share of $0.56 for the prior year period.
  • Declared a dividend of $0.375 per Class A common share for the first quarter of 2022 to be paid on June 2, 2022 to common shareholders of record as of May 24, 2022.
  • Authorized a program of $40.0 million for opportunistic share repurchases. During April 2022 we repurchased 184,684 Class A common shares at an average price of $26.66 per share for a total of $4.9 million.
  • On April 5, 2022, completed the partial redemption of $28.5 million principal amount of our Senior Unsecured Notes due 2024 (the “2024 Notes”) at a price equal to 102.00% of the principal amount plus accrued and unpaid interest. Upon completion of the redemption the outstanding principal amount of our 2024 Notes was $89.0 million.
  • In January 2022, agreed an amendment to the existing $268.0 million Syndicated Senior Secured Credit Facility with an outstanding balance of $213.2 million, to extend the maturity date from September 2024 to December 2026, favorably amend certain covenants, and release three vessels from the facility’s collateral basket, at an unchanged rate of LIBOR + 3.00%. The three vessels were subsequently used as collateral for a new $60.0 million syndicated senior secured debt facility, maturing in July 2026 and priced at LIBOR + 2.75%, which was used to fully repay the 10.00% Blue Ocean junior debt facility and for general corporate purposes.
  • In February 2022, entered into USD 1-month LIBOR interest rate caps of 0.75% through fourth quarter 2026 on $507.9 million of floating rate debt, which reduces over time and represented the remaining balance of the outstanding floating rate debt, after entering a similar interest rate cap in December 2021, on $484.1 million of floating rate debt, which also reduces over time, leaving the Company fully hedged on its floating rate debt.
  • Chartered the only vessel to come open year-to-date, our feeder Kumasi, for 37 – 39 months to Wan Hai at a rate of $38,000 per day, up from a rate of $9,300 per day for the preceding charter.

George Youroukos, Executive Chairman of Global Ship Lease, stated, “I am pleased to report that Global Ship Lease has delivered another quarter of earnings growth, even amid significant geopolitical activity, as additional highly attractive charters that we secured over the course of the last year have increasingly come into effect. With no vessels in GSL’s fully contracted fleet likely to be in the charter market until fourth quarter 2022, we have a high degree of certainty on our cashflows through at least the medium term, with many of our highest-earning charters extending well into the middle of the decade. This clarity and long-term contract coverage enables us to utilize our excess cash to increase our return of capital to shareholders, raising our dividend, as already announced, while also executing on our share repurchase program, buying back almost $5 million of our shares in the market.

Across the global chartered fleet, the vast majority of containerships are currently on extended charters, resulting in only very little current charter market activity. However, what little chartering there has been has continued to demonstrate how tight the market is. Looking forward, we continue to see highly constrained supply growth for all but the very largest containerships, and a high likelihood of continued supply chain disruption and congestion, which – almost regardless of demand growth – give us confidence about our ability to continue securing and extending long-term, reliable, contracted revenues from our high-quality fleet.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Philippe Lemonnier, who has decided to stand down as a Director of Global Ship Lease. We have greatly valued his advice over the last five years and wish him well for the future. At the same time, I am delighted to welcome Captain Yoram (Rami) Neugeborn to our Board. Rami is a Master Mariner with more than 40 years’ experience in the shipping industry, most recently having been Manager of the Chartering and Sale and Purchase Department at ZISS (Zim Integrated Shipping Services Ltd.) for 12 years.”

Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, commented, “Alongside our success in chartering our fleet and increasing our earnings in a long-term sustainable manner, we have remained focused on utilizing our increased financial strength to enhance our balance sheet. We have continued to eliminate our more expensive legacy debt, resulting in a reduction in our cost of debt from nearly 8% at the start of 2019 to 4.63% now. Similarly, between late 2021 and the first quarter of this year, we have put in place interest rate caps for all of our debt, so we are now fully hedged against rising interest rates. With no debt maturities through mid-2024, our contracted cashflows provide us with highly reliable coverage for our debt service and our return of capital to shareholders, while also putting us in a position to continue acting opportunistically to further strengthen our balance sheet and financial flexibility.”

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