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TBS International says 2009 was 'challenging'

March 17 - Reporting its Q4 and December 31, 2009 year end financial results, TBS International chairman and CEO and president, Joseph E. Royce, stated: "2009 was a particularly challenging year for the global economy and shipping, especially for the dry

In this context, our financial results for 2009 were not unexpected, and they reflect the normal progression of the recovery of dry cargo ocean transportation from the depths of the severe global recession we experienced.

"There are already signs of a gradual yet fragile economic recovery around the world. This recovery was initiated as of the second quarter of 2009 with the movement of basic raw materials such as iron ore, coal, and agricultural products on Capesize and Panamax vessels and had a positive impact on the bulk cargo side of our business. Our TBS liner and parcel services, that primarily transport steel parcels, general and project cargo, began their recovery during the fourth quarter, which proved to be our best quarter in 2009. This recovery is gaining momentum as we enter 2010.

Royce said that during these adverse and challenging market conditions, TBS took several new initiatives and strengthened its local presence in China, established a strong presence in Houston, which is the regional energy and project logistics hub, and entered into several strategic long-term alliances in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Africa that can generate a new steady stream of cargo volumes.

"Following shareholder approval, we completed TBS' change of domicile to Ireland, which we believe will provide us with economic benefits and help ensure our continued global competitiveness," he added

During the year, the company took delivery of the Rockaway Belle, its first newbuilding multipurpose tweendecker and expanded its fleet to 48 vessels. Rockaway Belle is the first in a series of six larger multipurpose tweendecker vessels and the company expects three more vessels to be delivered in 2010 and two in 2011.

For the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2009, total revenues were USD84.8 million, a decrease of 39.3 percent compared to the USD139.8 million for the same period in 2008. Net loss for the fourth quarter 2009 was USD10.7 million, a decrease of 130.9 percent compared to USD34.6 million profit for the same period in 2008.

For the year ended December 31, 2009, total revenues were USD302.5 million, a decrease of 50.5 percent compared to the USD611.6 million for the year 2008. Net loss for 2009 was USD67.0 million, a decrease of 134.9 percent compared to USD191.8 million profit for 2008.

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