Belships ASA : Report 4th quarter 2012

Belships revenue was Q4 2012 USD 6,663,000 (Q4 2011: USD 7,002,000), while EBITDA amounted to USD 2,110,000 (USD 1,905,000). The company’s operating profit was USD 46,000 (USD 488,000), while the net result for Q4 2012 was USD -715,000 (USD -208,000). Net result for 2012 was USD -1,689,000 (USD -1,227,000).
Accounts for Q4 2012 have been prepared in accordance with IAS 34 Interim Financial Reporting and are consistent with the principles applied in the annual accounts. The interim accounts have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

Baltic Dry Index showed a downward trend during the 4th quarter. 2013 started fresh, especially for Capesize, but fell back slightly since. The indices for Capesize and Panamax are now USD 7,130 and USD 6,226 per day respectively, while supramax index is USD 6,938 per day. For the total bulk market the index is now 751 points, which is above the minimum point from the beginning of February 2012 of 647 points. Baltic Exchange values a 5 year old panamax to USD 18.5 million, while a similar supramax is valued at USD 18.2 million. These levels represent an increase from the level at the end of 2012. Transaction volumes rose sharply towards the end of last year, which may be a signal that the fall in ship values have bottomed out.

M/S Belnor, M/S Belstar and M/S Belocean are all fixed on 10-year charters to Canpotex of Canada. Canpotex is the world’s largest exporter of potash, a fertilizing product that is imported in large quantities by countries like China, India and Brazil. Net T/C rate is USD 16,000 per day, which is a good rate in today’s market. M/T Belaia is fixed to J. Lauritzen AS in Denmark until March 2014 at a net rate of USD 12,840 per day. We still have buy options and options to extend the inbound charter for 1 +1 + 1 years, i.e. from March 2014 onwards.
All ships have sailed without significant offhire, but operating costs per 4th quarter of 2012 were slightly above budget. Technical management of owned tonnage is handled by Belships Management (Singapore), having full technical management of totally 16 ships.

At 31 December, the Group’s cash reserves totaled USD 10.2 million compared to USD 10.4 million as per 30 September.
The company’s mortgage debt was USD 53.1 million as per 31 December and decreased by USD 1.3 million during the 4th quarter.
During the quarter Belships bought NOK 4.3 million of its own bond, and the company now owns 29% of this loan. Outstanding bond to external lenders were NOK 33.3 million as per 31 December. Outstanding amount will be redeemed in July 2013, as scheduled. The bond is hedged against the USD.
Impairment tests for the company’s assets are performed in accordance with IAS 36. The vessels are valued based on observable market values, and charter parties entered into. Based on these internal valuations one ship has been adjusted by USD 1 million in the 4th quarter. In addition ordinary depreciation amounts to USD 1.1 million. At the end of the Q4 2012, the book value per share amounted to NOK 11.77, and the equity ratio was 44.9%.

The recent weakening of Yen has made Japanese shipyards more competitive and several new contracts were reported at the end of last year and early this year. Charterers want newbuildings with “eco-design”, i.e. vessels with low fuel consumption and low emissions, and in Japan it is now difficult to find available slots for 2015. The shipbuilding industry in China has ample available capacity, although orders here too have picked up. Many believe that newbuilding prices have reached a low point in this cycle. Growth in dry bulk fleet adjusted for scrapping is expected to be 7% in 2013 and will fall further in 2014 after several years of double-digit fleet growth. There is certainly lots of hidden capacity as a result of slow steaming, but there are good reasons for more optimism. Continued growth in China and improved outlook for the U.S. economy are both positive for the demand side. Increased export capacity of iron ore and coal will lead to low commodity prices, and China, which has higher production costs than the exporters, must rely on increased import. The bulk fleet capacity utilization is expected to rise from 83% to 87% in 2014.
All Belships’ vessels are sailing on long-term charter-parties to reputable counterparts, and short-term market fluctuations will not affect the company’s earnings and cash flow. Existing charter-parties represent future revenues of USD 131 million.
The focus going forward will be to continue to develop Belships ASA as a long term tonnage provider of modern bulk carriers to reputable charterers. We aim to build up a portfolio of ships and charters that will provide a steady return but also reducing the residual risk exposure through a duration spread. Newbuilding prices are probably close to a bottom, and we are working actively to develop new projects.

Oslo, 14 February 2013


This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.