StealthGas Starts Year with Several Charter Contracts
zoom Liquefied petroleum gas shipping company StealthGas has signed a number of time charter agreements as it improved its earnings in 2017.The company said that it secured work for two of its 2018-built LPG carriers, namely the Eco Arctic and the Eco Ice, which were handed over to the company last month, increasing the company’s asset base to USD 1.1 billion. The ships each received two-year time charters with a major trading house, lasting until February 2020.Additionally, a three months’ time charter was agreed for SealthGas’ 2017-built LPG carrier, the Eco Frost, to an oil major until May 2018, while a two months’ time charter was inked for its 2008-built carrier, the Gas Imperiale, to an international trading house until April 2018.Other deals included a number of consecutive voyage charters, which were signed for the company’s 1995-built Gas Marathon, the 2001-built chartered-in Gas Cathar and Gas Premiership, and for the 2015-built LPG carrier, the Eco Galaxy.With these charters, the company has contracted revenues of approximately USD 196 million. Total anticipated voyage days of its fleet are 65% covered for the remainder of 2018.StealthGas unveiled the developments as part of its fourth quarter and full year 2017 financial report, in which it said that its revenue for the periods increased. StealthGas delivered a revenue of USD 38.4 million in the quarter, up from USD 36.5 million reported in the same three-month period of 2016. For the full year, the company’s revenue increased to USD 152.3 million from USD 136.5 million seen in 2016.“The fourth quarter of 2017 was mixed. On the one hand we are pleased that our core market of small LPGs shows clear signs of improvement, which should continue to leverage our earnings…On the other hand the sale of four of our older vessels and the weakening of the tanker market affected our revenue growth, somewhat obscuring the improved revenues for our core fleet,” Michael Jolliffe, Board Chairman, said.Nevertheless, excluding impairment charges, the company’s annual results demonstrated clear improvements both in revenues and profitability.