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Green shoots for box trades

Green shoots for box trades
Greek containership owner Danaos Corporation has renewed a message of hope for revival this year in the hard-hit boxship sector as it unveiled second-quarter and first-half profits.

Greek containership owner Danaos Corporation has renewed a message of hope for revival this year in the hard-hit boxship sector as it unveiled second-quarter and first-half profits.

Greek containership owner Danaos Corporation has renewed a message of hope for revival this year in the hard-hit boxship sector as it unveiled second-quarter and first-half profits.

?We are still getting signals of a visible recovery based on volumes traded,? said chief executive John Coustas.

?Today there are certain routes where the vessels are once again running at capacity. This is a necessary preceding sign for any broader recovery in the sector.?

Mr Coustas said: ?We believe that during the upcoming August-September peak season, liner companies should be able to restore some pricing power on box rates, which will be important for both their financial outlook and the reduction of the risk premium that markets seem to assign to our industry today.?

Public optimism from the Danaos boss first drew attention at the end of April when he said he drew hope from increasing load factors and the number of idle vessels returning to service.

Since then there has been as much gloom as encouragement for container vessel owners and liner operators.

Against a background of recent loan covenant waivers and negotiation of delays to its large container vessel newbuilding programme, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company posted net earnings of $15.9m for the second quarter, lifting profits in the first half of 2009 to $35.9m.

Second-quarter net income was reduced by 35% in comparison with the profit in the same quarter last year, excluding gains from a vessel sale last year.

Half-year profits were down by about 29% compared with last year.

Mr Coustas hailed ?very effective? steps to control costs as the company reduced the average daily operating cost per vessel by 2.5% in comparison with the second quarter of 2008.

He said Danaos had also advanced its efforts to secure further bank financing for its newbuilding programme.? We believe we will be able to announce further details in the near future,? he said.

The company said in its recent annual report that it has not yet financed 12 out of the 28 ships it has still on order, with an estimated $1.4bn in finance needed in addition to the financing it has already obtained.

A total of 25 of the ships on order have been delayed for various periods by agreement with shipyards and charterers.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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