ATHENS, Greece, July 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Stelmar Shipping Ltd.
(NYSE: SJH) today announced the delivery of the Reinemar, a double-hull
Panamax tanker, and the Antigmar, a double-hull Handymax tanker. These
newbuildings are the eighth and ninth double-hull vessels in a series of
eleven to be delivered by the end of July 2004. Together, these newbuildings
will increase Stelmar's operating days by 24% in 2004 and 8% in 2005.
Peter Goodfellow, Chief Executive Officer and President, stated, "We are
pleased to have completed our current Panamax newbuilding program and look
forward to the delivery of our final two Handymax vessels on schedule.
Stelmar's success at seamlessly integrating the new vessels into its fleet and
significantly growing operating days has increased the Company's earnings
potential in the current strong market. With a fleet of modern Panamax and
Handymax vessels, Stelmar is well positioned to take advantage of the expected
strong demand for seaborne transportation of oil and refined product."
The Reinemar has entered into a previously announced profitable five-year
time charter contract, which includes a profit sharing agreement. The
Antigmar has entered into a profitable short-term time charter for
repositioning purposes and is then expected to enter the spot market. The
Company is scheduled to receive two additional Handymax tankers by the end of
July, growing Stelmar's fleet to 41 tankers, assuming no disposals.
Mr. Goodfellow continued, "The Reinemar is our second Panamax newbuilding
to be signed to a profitable time charter with 50/50 profit sharing. These
profit sharing agreements combined with such initiatives as optimizing our
spot/charter balance and trading a number of Panamax tankers in the spot
market positions the Company for enhanced upside potential without sacrificing
earnings visibility. Having already achieved our time charter goal for 2004,
we are focusing on expanding our 2005 time charter coverage in a strong rate
Including the remaining new vessels to be delivered in 2004, 70% of the
fleet's net operating days for 2004 and 30% of the fleet's net operating days
for 2005 have been secured on time charters, equivalent to $143 million and
$78 million in revenues, respectively.
About Stelmar Shipping Ltd.
Stelmar Shipping Ltd. is an international provider of petroleum product
and crude oil transportation services. Headquartered in Athens, Greece,
Stelmar operates one of the world's largest and most modern Handymax and
Panamax tanker fleets with an average age of approximately seven years,
excluding the newbuildings. With the delivery of two remaining vessels
expected by July 2004, and assuming no disposals, the Company's fleet of
39 tankers will expand to 41. The fleet includes two leased Aframax and nine
leased Handymax vessels. Following the delivery of all the newbuildings, the
average age of Stelmar's total fleet will be reduced to six years. The
Company, through its maintenance of a modern fleet and commitment to safety,
has earned an excellent reputation for providing transportation services to
major oil companies, oil traders and state-owned oil companies.
This document contains forward-looking statements (as defined in Section
27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) concerning future events and the
Company's operations, performance and financial conditions, including, in
particular, statements regarding: TCE rates in the near term; time charter
revenues, net operating days; tanker supply and demand; supply and demand for
oil; expectations as to funding the Company's future capital requirements;
future capital expenditures; the Company's growth strategy and measures to
implement such strategy; environmental changes in regulation; cost savings and
other benefits. Words such as "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes,"
"anticipates," "estimates," and variations of such words and similar
expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Although the
Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking
statements are reasonable, no assurance can be given that such expectations
will prove to have been correct. These statements involve known and unknown
risks and are based upon a number of assumptions and estimates which are
inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies, many of
which are beyond the control of the Company. Actual results may differ
materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include, but are
not limited to: changes in production of or demand for oil and petroleum
products, either generally or in particular regions; the cyclical nature of
the tanker industry and its dependence on oil markets; the supply of tankers
available to meet the demand for transportation of petroleum products; greater
than anticipated levels of tanker newbuilding orders or less than anticipated
rates of tanker scrapping; changes in trading patterns significantly impacting
overall tanker tonnage requirements; competitive factors in the market in
which the Company operates; risks associated with operations outside the
United States; and other factors listed from time to time in the Company's
filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Company expressly
disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or
revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any
change in the Company's expectations with respect thereto or any change in
events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based.
SOURCE Stelmar Shipping Ltd.