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Hanjin collapse, weak charter market blamed as Danaos sinks into loss

Greek containership owner Danaos suffered a US$366 million loss in 2016, which it blamed on the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, as the carrier’s charter terminations forced Danaos to recognise a $205 million impairment loss in its accounts, as well as a $210 million write-down on 18 other ships in its fleet.


Last year, Danaos made a profit of $117 million. The shipowner operates 59 containerships of 2,200-13,100 TEU, of which five 3,400 TEU and three 10,100 TEU vessels were on long-term charter to Hanjin, representing one-fifth of Danaos’ $2 billion contracted revenue, reported London’s Loadstar.

Said Danaos CEO John Coustas: “Danaos’ results for the fourth quarter of 2016 reflect the impact of the bankruptcy of Hanjin Shipping, which previously chartered eight of our vessels on long-term charter party agreements representing approximately 20 per cent of our fixed contracted revenue.”

Following the carrier’s bankruptcy, when the ships were eventually returned, Danaos managed to find short-term charters for all eight, but at considerably lower market rates.

Said Dr Coustas: “We have re-chartered five 3,400 TEU vessels on short-term charters at market rates that reflect the prevailing weak chartering environment and managed to secure employment of up to 12 months, starting from April 2017, for the remaining three 10,100 TEU vessels.”

But he added that as a result of the decrease in operating income and charter ship values, Danaos was in breach of financial covenants attached to the ship mortgages.

He said that while waivers had been obtained on mortgages that expired on April 1, the company continued “to engage in discussions with our lenders to address the matter.”

Although it had “ceased recognising revenue” from Hanjin last July, Danaos said, there had been an earlier accumulation of $15.8 million in unpaid charter hire.

The shipowner said it had submitted an unsecured claim of $598 million to the Bankruptcy Court of Seoul to cover the unpaid charter hire and to compensate for the early termination of the charter party contracts.

However, unsecured creditors – also including banks, bondholders, shipowners and trade debtors – can expect to recover “close to zero” of their outstanding claims according to Alphaliner.

 

Source: Shipping Gazette

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