November 20 - Rickmers Group's heavy lift shipping subsidiary Rickmers-Linie recorded a 6.9 percent year-on-year drop in revenue for the first nine months of 2015, but a positive increase in EBITDA (consolidated operating profit before interest, taxes, de

Rickmers-Linie recorded a revenue of EUR131 million (USD140.2 million) in the reporting period, and a positive EBITDA of EUR2 million (USD2.14 million), compared with EUR -12.1 million (USD -12.9 million) in the same period of 2014.

Overall, Rickmers Group posted a 7.4 percent year-on-year growth in revenue to EUR439.7 million (USD470 million) for the first nine months of 2015.

Despite the "persistent challenging market environment", Rickmers Group also recorded a 27.4 percent increase EBITDA.

The company attributed this "significant earnings increase" to the successful implementation of sustainable cost management, as well as favourable exchange rates due to the appreciation of the US dollar.

In spite of the challenging market environment, the management board confirmed its raised forecast given in August 2015.

Against the background of the positive effects of the US dollar exchange rate and especially the sustainable turnaround of Rickmers-Linie, the group says that it still assumes a slight improvement in revenue and a clear rise in EBITDA.

Adjusted for negative effects in connection with extraordinary impairments on the shipping assets, the net profit of Rickmers Group is expected to be slightly above previous year's level.

Meanwhile, in October 2015, the supervisory board of Rickmers Holding extended the service contracts of ceo Ignace Van Meenen and cfo Mark-Ken Erdmann by another five years in the context of the company's conversion to a stock corporation.