Atlas Corp-owned tonnage provider Seaspan Corp has revealed a series of vessel buybacks and refinancings as its parent group saw earnings jump in the first quarter.

The privately owned group said net earnings hit $161.1m to 31 March, up from $58.8m a year ago.

Revenue grew to $541.1m against $417.2m as Seaspan took delivery of 10 container ship newbuildings from 7,000 teu to 15,500 teu, for $1.1bn.

So far in the second quarter, another five ships have been handed over by yards. All began long-term charters.

Seaspan still has 29 vessels under construction.

A securities filing by Atlas reveals that in February and March, Seaspan exercised its options under lease financing arrangements to buy back a 14,000-teu and a 10,000-teu vessel for $61.6m and $49.5m, respectively.

This was repeated in April for the same amount, giving a total price of $222m for the four ships, which were not named.

The deals will be completed next year.

Seaspan banked $122m in revenue from chartering 35 ships to Ocean Network Express (ONE) in Japan, and managing one more.

The company also manages the shipping operations of vessels owned by its joint venture with Zhejiang Energy Group in China.

Revenue from this came in at $2.7m, from $2.6m in 2023.

More borrowing power

Seaspan has also amended and extended an existing revolving credit facility to increase the borrowing capacity by $50m to $300m.

The maturity date has been stretched from February 2025 to March 2027.

As of 31 March, the shipowner had three revolving credit facilities worth up to $750m, of which $550m is undrawn.

Term loan facilities totalled $2bn, down from $2.4bn at the end of 2023.

Three ships have been refinanced by switching Chinese leasing companies for a sales price of $224m, the company said.

Seaspan can repurchase the units from 2026.

Lease payments include interest based on a variable interest rate of the three-month secured overnight financing rate, plus a margin of 2%.

And two more ships were entered into a sale-and-leaseback financing arrangement, raising proceeds of $54m.

The 8,100-teu vessels will be leased for five years at the same rate as the other three ships.

The leasing companies were not named.