Tonnage provider MPC Container Ships (MPCC) logged a further rise in profits on the back of healthy container charter markets.
The Oslo-listed feederships company reported a profit adjusted for non-recurring items in the first quarter of $88.9m, up 13.5% from the opening three months of 2022.
Revenue rose 26% to $180.1m, including $25.2m from early redelivery of the 2,742-teu AS Carlotta (built 2006).
Chief executive Constantin Baack attributed the result to “a solid charter backlog and continued strong operational performance”.
“Following a steep market normalisation trajectory in the second half of 2022 and into early 2023, charter markets are now displaying signs of stabilisation at levels well above historical averages,” Baack said.
He added that current rate stability will be subject to supply-constraining measures such as increased slow steaming to comply with Carbon Intensity Indicator regulations.
“For intra-regional trades in particular, the supply-demand balance is encouraging when compared to the larger fleet segments, with demand outpacing supply growth and a reasonable amount of additional scrapping potential,” Baack said.
“Nevertheless, it remains to be seen how the supply growth in the large vessel segments will affect the overall container market going forward.”
MPCC operates a fleet 62 vessels, mostly in the feeder sizes, with an aggregate capacity of approximately 134,700 teu.
Average time charter rates rose to $30,989 per day in the quarter, up from $24,845 per day in the same quarter in 2022.
Fleet utilisation was 97.1%, while revenue backlog was $1.3bn.
Baack said the company has contract coverage for 89% of operating days in 2023 and 58% for 2024, “which provides forward visibility on contracted cash flows and distribution capacity for the coming years”.
The feedership specialist has left its 2023 guidance unchanged.
Operating revenues are expected in the range of $610m to $630m and Ebitda in the range of $420m to $450m.
Adjusted Ebitda in the first quarter — excluding non-recurring items — rose 11.5% to $110.7m year on year, despite a smaller total fleet.
MPCC has distributed dividends amounting to more than $600m since February 2022, including the recurring dividend of $0.15 per share declared for the first quarter.
Earnings per share (EPS) was $0.23 and adjusted EPS was $0.20, slightly higher than the market anticipated.
MPCC continues to renew its fleet.
In January, the Hamburg-managed company spent a total of $33.9m to purchase two German-managed, scrubber-fitted vessels: the Wilhelmsen Ahrenkiel-managed, 3,400-teu Rio Centaurus (built 2010) from Taurus Container in Norway; and the F Laiesz-managed, 2,800-teu TRF Kaya (built 2007) from the WLR/TRF SH Container Ships IV fund in the US.