Premuda seeks ?35.2m in share issue
The board of Genoa-based tanker and bulker operator Premuda has approved a capital increase to take place over the next six months, writes John McLaughlin.
The move follows a sharp deterioration in the company"s financial performance last year, with losses coming in at ?20.8m ($28m) compared with earnings of ?8.7m in 2008.
Premuda said it would issue 46.9m shares of a nominal value of ?0.50, boosting its share capital from ?70.4m to ?93.9m. The new shares will be reserved to current shareholders at a price of ?0.75 per share for a total of ?35.2m. The shares will be allocated at a rate of one new share for every three shares held.
The decision to raise fresh capital follows a tough year for the Milan-listed company, which has a presence in both the tanker and the bulk market.
Time charter equivalent revenues came in at ?48.3m last year, almost half the ?91.6m posted in 2008 as the impact of the global economic crisis hit both markets hard.
Amortisation edged up to ?13.8m from ?12m in 2008, and last year"s results also included ?22.5m impairment on four ships. Also, the slide from profit into loss came despite this year"s receipt of ?9.5m from vessel disposals.
For all that, and the uncertainty still dogging both the shipping market and prospects for global trade, the company said it expected a return to profitability this year.