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Global Ship Lease Reports Results for the First Quarter of 2009
LONDON, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - May 19, 2009) - Global Ship Lease, Inc. (NYSE:GSL)(NYSE:GSL.U)(NYSE:GSL.WS), a containership charter owner, announced today its unaudited results for the three months ended March 31, 2009.
First Quarter and Year-to-Date 2009 Highlights
- Paid a fourth quarter 2008 dividend of $0.23 per share on March 5, 2009 to Class A common shareholders and unit holders and Class B common shareholders of record as of February 20, 2009
- Generated $15.3 million of cash available for common dividends in the first quarter of 2009
- Reported revenue of $35.0 million for the first quarter of 2009
- Reported normalized net earnings of $6.8 million, or $0.13 per share, for the first quarter of 2009, excluding a $4.3 million non-cash interest rate derivative mark-to-market gain
- Including non-cash charges, reported net income of $11.2 million, or $0.21 per share, for the first quarter of 2009
- Obtained in April 2009 a waiver from loan-to-value tests until June 30, 2009 under $800 million credit facility to improve financial flexibility; no common dividends can be declared or paid during the waiver period
Ian Webber, Chief Executive Officer of Global Ship Lease, stated, "We are pleased to have achieved revenue and earnings growth in this challenging economic environment. During the quarter, Global Ship Lease once again performed as anticipated, generating strong revenues and predictable cash flows, further demonstrating the successful implementation of our established strategy of securing all of our vessels on long-term contracts. Notably, the four additional vessels we purchased in December of 2008 that expanded our modern fleet to 16 vessels and increased our contracted revenue stream to $1.6 billion, contributed $11.0 million of revenue in the first quarter. Our entire operating fleet is now secured on contracts that have an average remaining term of approximately 10 years, all of which continue to perform as expected with all charter payments up-to-date. In addition, we continue to work closely with our ship manager to prudently control costs and have now held operating expenses under the capped amount in our management agreement for three straight quarters."
Mr. Webber continued, "During a time when many ship brokers have suspended issuing valuations due to limited market transparency and liquidity, we secured an agreement to waive for two months the requirement under the credit facility to submit vessel valuations on April 30, 2009. We are in active discussions with our lenders and remain committed to working with them to finalize an amendment to the credit facility by June 30, 2009."
Results for Three Months Ended March 31, 2009
Comparative financial information for the three months ended March 31, 2008 is prepared under predecessor accounting rules and includes the results of operations of some of the vessels when they were owned by CMA CGM, a privately owned French container shipping company, and operated in CMA CGM's business of earning revenue from carrying cargo. Global Ship Lease commenced its business of time chartering out vessels in December 2007 when it purchased 10 container vessels from CMA CGM. The Company purchased two additional vessels from CMA CGM in January 2008. The predecessor and Global Ship Lease business models are not comparable.
Further, there were significant changes to the Company's legal and capital structure arising from the merger on August 14, 2008, which resulted in the Company being listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Accordingly, only selected comparative information is presented.
Revenue for the three months ended March 31, 2009, as reported in our unaudited interim combined financial information, was $35.0 million compared to time charter revenue in the comparative period of $21.8 million. The significant increase is due primarily to the inclusion of four additional vessels from December 2008. Normalized net earnings were $6.8 million after adjusting for a non cash mark-to-market gain of $4.3 million on our interest rate derivatives. The reported net income was $11.2 million.
Revenue and Utilization
Global Ship Lease owned sixteen vessels throughout the first quarter of 2009. The fleet generated revenue from fixed rate long-term time charters of $35.0 million in the three months ended March 31, 2009, up significantly from time charter revenue of $21.8 million for the comparative period in 2008 due mainly to the purchase of four additional ships in December 2008. During the three months ended March 31, 2009 there were 34 unplanned off-hire days out of 1,440 ownership days, representing utilization of 98%. In the comparable period of 2008, there were 1,067 ownership days, with 15 planned off-hire days for a dry-docking and 4 unplanned days, representing utilization of 98%. There were 4,416 ownership days in the year ended December 31, 2008, with 15 planned off-hire days for a dry-docking and 30 unplanned days, representing utilization of 99%.
Vessel Operating Expenses
Vessel operating expenses, which include costs of crew, lubricating oil, spares and insurance, were $10.7 million for the three months ended March 31, 2009. Excluding $0.5 million nonrecurring insurance related charges in the period, the average cost per ownership day was $7,076, up 3% from the average daily cost of $6,873 for the previous quarter, and up 5% from the average daily cost of $6,714 for the comparative period in 2008. These increases were primarily due to higher crew costs in the intervening period and the incremental costs of the four larger vessels that joined the fleet in December 2008, including, for example, additional lubricating oil consumption. Vessel operating expenses include regular ship operating costs under Global Ship Lease's ship management agreements and are at less than the capped amounts included in these agreements.
Depreciation was $8.8 million for the three months ended March 31, 2009, including the effect of the purchase during December 2008 of four additional vessels. Depreciation was $4.8 million for the time charter business in the comparative period in 2008.
General and Administrative Costs
General and administrative costs incurred were $2.1 million in the first quarter of 2009 compared to $0.7 million in the comparable period in 2008 when the Company was a wholly-owned private subsidiary of CMA CGM.
Net interest expense, excluding the effect of interest rates derivatives, which do not qualify for hedge accounting, for the three months ended March 31, 2009 was $4.5 million based on the Company's borrowings under its credit facility of $542.1 million and $48.0 million preferred shares throughout the quarter. Net interest expense in the comparative period in 2008 was $7.9 million based on borrowings of $578.0 million throughout the quarter at significantly higher prevailing interest rates.
Change in Fair Value of Financial Instruments
The Company hedges the majority of its interest rate exposure by entering into derivatives that swap floating rate debt for fixed rate debt to provide long-term stability and predictability to cash flows. As these hedges do not qualify for hedge accounting under US GAAP, the outstanding hedges are marked to market at each period end with any change in the fair value being booked to the income and expenditure account. The change in the fair value created a $2.3 million gain in the three months ended March 31, 2009, reflecting the increase in LIBOR and movements in the forward curve for interest rates. Of this amount, a $2.0 million charge represents settlements of swaps in the period, leaving a $4.3 million gain in the unrealized balance sheet position. Mark-to-market adjustments have no impact on operating performance or cash generation and do not affect the Company's ability to make distributions to shareholders.
Normalized net earnings were $6.8 million, or $0.13 per Class A and B common share, for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 excluding the $4.3 million non-cash interest rate derivative mark-to-market gain.
Including non-cash charges, the Company reported net income of $11.2 million for the first quarter of 2009, or $0.21 per Class A and B common share.
Normalized net earnings and normalized earnings per share are non-US GAAP measures and are reconciled to the interim unaudited financial information in this press release. We believe that they are useful measures with which to assess the Company's financial performance as they adjust for non-cash non-operating items that do not affect the Company's ability to make distributions on common shares.
On April 29, 2009, due to current challenges in the ship valuation environment, Global Ship Lease agreed with its lenders under its amended $800.0 million credit agreement, to waive for two months the requirement under the credit facility to submit vessel valuations and undertake the consequent loan-to-value test. Valuations were otherwise due by April 30, 2009. The Company has commenced discussions with its lenders to finalize an amendment to the credit facility to address the situation. The facility will bear an interest margin of 2.75% over LIBOR during this waiver period.
Management expects that an agreement will be reached with the Company's lenders and, accordingly, the interim unaudited combined financial information have been prepared on a going concern basis. In the event that the Company does not successfully amend the facility agreement by June 30, 2009 or agree a further waiver of the need to perform loan to value tests, and its loan to value ratio is above 100%, the lenders may declare an event of default and accelerate some or all of the debt. Any amount of the long term debt which is declared to be immediately repayable will be reclassified as current.
Global Ship Lease has agreed with its lenders that it will not declare or pay any dividend to common shareholders during the waiver period noted above. The board of directors will review the dividend policy once an amendment to the credit facility has been agreed with the bank group.
Cash Available for Common Dividends
Cash available for common dividends was $15.3 million for the three months ended March 31, 2009. Cash available for common dividends is a non-US GAAP measure and is reconciled to the interim unaudited financial information further in this press release. We believe that it is a useful measure with which to assess the Company's operating performance as it adjusts for the effect of non-cash items that do not affect the Company's ability to make distributions on common shares.
The table below shows vessel utilization for first quarter of 2009, the first quarter of 2008 and for the year ended December 31, 2008. Unplanned offhire for the first quarter of 2009 was 34 days, including 18 days for drydock and associated repair following a grounding and a seven day deviation to land a sick crew member.
Conference Call and Webcast
Global Ship Lease will hold a conference call to discuss the Company's results for the quarter ended March 31, 2009 today Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time. There are two ways to access the conference call:
(1) Dial-in: (877) 719-9801 or (719) 325-4809; Passcode: 6904731
Please dial in at least 10 minutes prior to 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time to ensure a prompt start to the call.
(2) Live Internet webcast and slide presentation: http://www.globalshiplease.com
If you are unable to participate at this time, a replay of the call will be available through Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at (888) 203-1112 or (719) 457-0820. Enter the code 6904731 to access the audio replay. The webcast will also be archived the Company's website: http://www.globalshiplease.com.
About Global Ship Lease
Global Ship Lease is a containership charter owner. Incorporated in the Marshall Islands Global Ship Lease commenced operations in December 2007 with a business of owning and chartering out containerships under long-term, fixed rate charters to world class container liner companies.
Global Ship Lease currently owns 16 vessels and has contracted to purchase an additional three vessels. The Company has a contract in place to purchase an additional vessel for $82 million from CMA CGM, which is expected to be delivered in July of 2009 and also has contracts in place to purchase two newbuildings from German interests for approximately $77 million each which are scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Once all of the contracted vessels have been delivered by the end of 2010, Global Ship Lease will have a 19 vessel fleet with total capacity of 74,797 TEU and a weighted average age at that time of 6.1 years and an average remaining charter term of approximately eight years. All of the vessels including those contracted for future delivery are fixed on long-term charters.
Reconciliation of Non-U.S. GAAP Financial Measures
A. Cash Available for Common Dividends
Cash available for common dividends is a non-US GAAP measure and is reconciled to the interim unaudited financial information below. It represents net earnings adjusted for non-cash items including depreciation, amortization of deferred financing charges, accretion of earnings for intangible liabilities, charge for equity based incentive awards and change in fair value of derivatives. An allowance for the cost of future drydockings is also deducted, which due to their substantial and periodic nature could otherwise distort quarterly cashflow available for common dividends. Cash available for common dividends is a non-US GAAP quantitative measure used to assist in the assessment of the Company's ability to pay common dividends. Cash available for common dividends is not defined in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States and should not be considered to be an alternate to net earnings or any other financial metric required by such accounting principles. We believe that cash available for common dividends is a useful measure with which to assess the Company's operating performance as it adjusts for the effects of non-cash items that do not affect the Company's ability to make distributions on common shares.
B. Normalized net earnings
Normalized net earnings is a non-US GAAP measure and is reconciled to the interim unaudited financial information below. It represents net earnings adjusted for the change in fair value of derivatives. Normalized net earnings is a non-GAAP quantitative measure which we believe will assist investors and analysts who often adjust reported net earnings for non-operating items such as change in fair value of derivatives to eliminate the effect of non cash non-operating items that do not affect operating performance or cash for distribution as dividends. Normalized net earnings is not defined in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States and should not be considered to be an alternate to net earnings or any other financial metric required by such accounting principles. Normalized net earnings per share is calculated based on normalized net earnings and the weighted average number of shares in the relevant period.
Safe Harbor Statement
This communication contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements provide Global Ship Lease's current expectations or forecasts of future events. Forward-looking statements include statements about Global Ship Lease's expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, intentions, assumptions and other statements that are not historical facts. Words or phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "ongoing," "plan," "potential," "predict," "project," "will" or similar words or phrases, or the negatives of those words or phrases, may identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not necessarily mean that a statement is not forward-looking. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that may be incorrect, and Global Ship Lease cannot assure you that these projections included in these forward-looking statements will come to pass. Actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors.
The risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:
- future operating or financial results;
- expectations regarding the strength of the future growth of the shipping industry, including the rate of annual demand growth in the international containership industry;
- future payments of dividends and the availability of cash for payment of dividends;
- Global Ship Lease's expectations relating to dividend payments and forecasts of its ability to make such payments;
- future acquisitions, business strategy and expected capital spending;
- operating expenses, availability of crew, number of off-hire days, drydocking and survey requirements and insurance costs;
- general market conditions and shipping industry trends, including charter rates and factors affecting supply and demand;
- Global Ship Lease's ability to repay its credit facility and grow using the available funds under its credit facility;
- assumptions regarding interest rates and inflation;
- change in the rate of growth of global and various regional economies;
- risks incidental to vessel operation, including discharge of pollutants and vessel collisions;
- Global Ship Lease's financial condition and liquidity, including its ability to obtain additional financing in the future to fund capital expenditures, acquisitions and other general corporate activities;
- estimated future capital expenditures needed to preserve its capital base;
- Global Ship Lease's expectations about the availability of ships to purchase, the time that it may take to construct new ships, or the useful lives of its ships;
- Global Ship Lease's continued ability to enter into long-term, fixed-rate charters;
- Global Ship Lease's ability to capitalize on its management team's and board of directors' relationships and reputations in the containership industry to its advantage;
- changes in governmental and classification societies' rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities;
- expectations about the availability of insurance on commercially reasonable terms;
- unanticipated changes in laws and regulations; and
- potential liability from future litigation.
Forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties and are based on potentially inaccurate assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected or implied by the forward-looking statements. Global Ship Lease's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in forward-looking statements for many reasons specifically as described in Global Ship Lease's filings with the SEC. Accordingly, you should not unduly rely on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this communication. Global Ship Lease undertakes no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statement to reflect circumstances or events after the date of this communication or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. You should, however, review the factors a risks Global Ship Lease describes in the reports it will file from time to time with the SEC after the date of this communication.
Global Ship Lease, Inc.
Segment information reported below has been prepared on the same basis that it is reported internally to the Company's chief operating decision maker. The Company operated under two business models from which it derives its revenues reported within this summary financial information: (i) the provision of vessels by the Company under time charters to container shipping companies and (ii) freight revenues generated by the containerized transportation of a broad range of industrial and consumer goods by the predecessor group. There are no transactions between reportable segments. Following the delivery of the initial 12 vessels in December 2007 and January 2008, the activity consists solely of the ownership and provision of vessels for container shipping under time charters.
The "Adjustment" column in the table below includes the elimination of the containerized transportation activity performed by the predecessor up to March 31, 2008.
During the three months ended March 31, 2009 and 2008 the activities can be analyzed as follows:
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Investor and Media Contact:
The IGB Group