Japanese investment company Uni-Asia earned higher charter revenue for the first quarter of 2015 but it was not enough to increase overall profits for the period.
The company has fixed out nine Handysize bulkers and its charter income rose 30% year on year (y/y) to USD6.021 million. This compares with five ships that were fixed out in the first quarter in 2014.
As these medium-term charters were fixed prior to the recent decline in the Baltic Dry Index, the charter rates were less susceptible to the weak dry bulk market.
However, investment returns were a negative USD200,000 for the first quarter of 2015. Realised gain from an investment property and small residential development properties resulted in realised gains of USD1.5 million and USD500,000 respectively with corresponding reversals of fair value previously recognised of USD1.3 million and USD500,000.
Fair value losses of USD700,000 were recognised for shipping investments as shipping market remained weak.
Income from its hotels in US-dollar terms declined by 8% y/y to USD7.7 million in the first quarter of 2015, as the Japanese yen depreciated more than 14% y/y.
As a result, Uni-Asia’s first quarter profit in 2015 plunged 76% to USD285,000.
Uni-Asia CEO Michio Tanamoto remarked, “Our charter income continued to increase in the first quarter in line with our strategic fleet expansion, as well as the charters being fixed previously before further downturn in the market. While the general consensus is that it may take some time for the shipping market to recover, we have positioned ourselves to ride the upturn. We are positive that the persistent effort in growing recurring income base and exploring new business frontiers will pave our way for stronger growth in the future. “