August 12 - Rickmers Group recorded consolidated revenues of EUR249.3 million (USD277.9 million) in the first half of 2016 - a 13.9 percent decrease compared with the same period of 2015.
Rickmers attributed the drop in revenue to the "persistently strained market situation, expiring high-margin charter contracts, follow-on charters at the prevalent low market rates, lower freight earnings, and a sharper decline in capacity utilisation in the project cargo business".
The group's EBITDA dropped 36.1 percent year-on-year in the reporting period to EUR87.7 million (USD97.7 million). Rickmers added that positive effects from "financial derivative instruments" were overshadowed by a weak operating result and extraordinary net impairments on vessels.
Following a positive net earnings result of EUR2.6 million (USD2.89 million) in the first half of 2015, the German shipping company's consolidated net result in the first half of 2016 represented a EUR131.5 million (USD146.6 million) loss.
The Rickmers-Linie segment posted revenues of EUR64.9 million, compared with EUR89.1 million in 2015, and recorded a negative EBITDA of EUR5.3 million, compared with a positive EBITDA of EUR2.9 million in the 2015 period.
In March, Rickmers Holding approved a package of measures intended to counteract the weak market conditions, operating result and extraordinary net impairments on vessels. These measures are proceeding, with further options for action being examined on an ongoing basis, confirmed the group.
The Rickmers Group had already renegotiated its core bank loans amounting to USD1.39 billion.
In view of the lowered forecasts for global economic growth as well as the global container trade, the Rickmers Group currently sees no sign of a macroeconomic recovery in the second half of the year. This situation is reflected by the development of charter and freight rates, which the management sees as likely to remain at their current low levels.
Based on the declining development in revenues, the Rickmers management continues to expect an EBITDA for the 2016 financial year "clearly below" the 2015 figure.