SOURCE: Aries Maritime Transport Limited

August 11, 2005 08:46 ET

Aries Maritime Transport Limited Reports Financial Results for the Six Months Ended June 30, 2005

Expanded Fleet Drives Results

100% Time Charter Coverage and Strong Balance Sheet Positions Company to Provide Both Stable Earnings and Growth

ATHENS, GREECE -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 11, 2005 -- Aries Maritime Transport Limited (NASDAQ: RAMS) today reported net income of $6.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2005, compared to net income of $2.0 million recorded for the six months ended June 30, 2004 representing an increase of $4.7 million or 235%. Revenues were $32.7 million for the six months ended June 30, 2005, compared to revenues of $10.6 million recorded for the six months ended June 30, 2004, an increase of 208%. The increase in revenues is primarily due to the growth of the Company's fleet and associated increase in operating days. As of June 30, 2005 the fleet comprised seven products tankers and four container ships compared with a fleet comprising four products tankers and four container ships as of June 30, 2004. During the six months ended June 30, 2005 vessel operating days totalled 1,816 compared with total vessel operating days of 627 for the same period of 2004. EBITDA for the six months ended June 30, 2005 was $23.2 million compared to $7.1 million for the six months ended June 30, 2004.

The initial public offering of 12,240,000 shares of the Company was completed on June 3, 2005 and the net proceeds of the offering totalling $143,055,000 was received by the Company on June 8, 2005. These proceeds were applied to vessel acquisition, debt reduction, costs of the initial public offering and cash.

Mons S. Bolin, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "During the first six months of 2005, Aries met important objectives related to growing its products tanker and container fleet business, including committing 100% of its vessels to profitable time charter contracts. This success enabled Aries to post strong results for the period, while positioning the Company to take advantage of favorable long-term industry fundamentals. With an expanded time chartered fleet, Aries is also well positioned to provide a high level of earnings stability and distribute significant cash dividends to shareholders."

Fleet Report

Aries operates a fleet of seven double-hulled tankers and five container ships. The Company's products tankers consists of four double-hulled MR tankers, two double-hulled Panamax tankers and one double-hulled Aframax tanker with an average age of 7.8 years and a dwt capacity of approximately 391,124 tonnes.

The Company's five container ships range in capacity from 1,799 to 2,917 TEU and have an average age of 15.6 years. This fleet includes two vessels of which the Company took delivery following its June 3, 2005 initial public offering.

On June 24, 2005, the Company took delivery of a 2,917 TEU container vessel, the CMA CGM Seine, from an affiliate of Aries Energy, in accordance with a previously exercised option agreement. The CMA CGM Seine will continue to operate on its existing $15,405 net per day time charter with the CMA CGM Group of France until September, 2005. At that time, the vessel will immediately commence a new five-year time charter with the same charterer at a net rate of $20,400 per day.

On July 15, 2005 the Company took delivery of a 2,917 TEU container vessel, the CMA CGM Makassar, a sister ship of the CMA CGM Seine, from an affiliate of Aries Energy, in accordance with a previously exercised option agreement. The CMA CGM Makassar will continue to operate on its existing $20,400 net per day time charter with the CMA CGM Group of France until May, 2010.

Fleet Deployment

All of Aries' 12 vessels are currently deployed on long-term time charters with established international charterers and state owned entities. The time charters have remaining periods ranging from 1 year to 5 years, with an average of 3 years.

During the first six month period of 2005, Aries signed time charters for two vessels prior to their expiration dates in 2006. The 41,500 dwt products tankers, the High Land and the High Rider, are currently on $12,838 net per day contracts with d'Amico, a major Italian shipping company, that expire in March 2006. The two vessels have also been signed to $16,575 net per day contracts with Trafigura, a large global commodity trader, which commence in March 2006 and expire in April 2008.

Mr. Bolin continued, "We are pleased to have entered into time charters for two of our products tankers, which were signed prior to the expiry of the current contracts and were executed at higher rates. This demonstrates the Company's commitment to maintain significant time charter coverage as well as our ability to benefit from any rate increases. We will continue to seek such opportunities in the future in an effort to grow our earnings for the benefit of the Company and its shareholders."

The following table, details Aries' fleet deployment:

                                                                 Initial
                Size                      Expiration  Charter    Daily
                (in    Year  Charterer/   of Time       Hire     Operating
Vessel Name     dwt)   Built Subcharterer Charter  (net per day) Budget
-----------     ----   ----- ------------ --------  -----------  ---------
Products Tankers
Altius          73,400 2004  Deiulemar/   Through   $14,860       $4,500
                              Enel        6/09
Fortius         73,400 2004  Deiulemar/   Through   $14,860       $4,500
                              Enel        8/09
Nordanvind      38,701 2001  PDVSA        Through   $13,331       $5,000
                                          10/05

                             PDVSA        10/05 to  $19,988
                                          10/08
Bora            38,701 2000  PDVSA        Through   $13,331       $5,000
                                          11/05

                             PDVSA        11/05 to  $19,988
                                          11/08
High Land       41,450 1992  d'Amico      Through   $12,838       $4,700
                                          3/06

                             Trafigura    Through   $16,575
                                          4/08
High Rider      41,502 1991  d'Amico      Through   $12,838       $4,700
                                          3/06

                             Trafigura    Through   $16,575
                                          4/08
Citius          83,970 1986  ST Shipping  Through   $18,330 + 50% $4,800
                                          8/06      of profits
                                                    over and above
                                                    $18,800

                                                                 Initial
                 Size                     Expiration  Charter    Daily
                 (in   Year  Charterer/   of Time       Hire     Operating
Vessel Name      TEU)  Built Subcharterer Charter  (net per day) Budget
-----------      ----  ----- ------------ --------  -----------  ---------
Container Vessels
CMA CGM Makassar 2,917 1990  CMA CGM      Through   $20,400       $5,100
                                          5/10
CMA CGM Seine    2,917 1990  CMA CGM      Through   $15,405       $5,100
                                          9/05

                                          9/05 to   $20,400
                                          9/10
CMA CGM Energy   2,438 1989  CMA CGM      Through   $21,954       $4,800
                                          4/07
CMA CGM Force    2,438 1989  CMA CGM      Through   $21,954       $4,800
                                          6/07
Ocean Hope       1,800 1989  China        Through   $13,956       $4,400
                             Shipping     6/07
                             Container Lines


Summary of Selected Data
                                                        Six Months Ended
  (All amounts in US$000’s, unless otherwise stated)        June 30,
                                                        2004        2005
                                                      --------    --------
EBITDA RECONCILIATION(1)

  NET INCOME                                             1,991       6,689
  plus Net interest expense                              1,800       8,007
  plus Depreciation and Amortization                     3,565       8,875
  less Change in fair value of derivatives                (276)       (377)
                                                      --------    --------
  EBITDA                                                 7,080      23,194
FLEET DATA
  Number of vessels                                          8          11
  Number of vessels on time charter                          8          11
  Weighted average age of fleet (in years)                11.7        10.7
  Operating days                                           627       1,816
AVERAGE DAILY RESULTS (in US$’s):
  Time charter equivalent (TCE) rate                    16,874      18,009
  Vessel operating expenses                              4,847       4,671
  EBITDA                                                11,292      12,772

(1) Aries considers EBITDA to represent net income plus net interest
 expense and depreciation and amortization and less the change in the
 fair value of derivatives.  EBITDA is not an item recognized by GAAP
 and should not be considered as an alternative to net income, operating
 income or any other indicator of a Company's operating performance
 required by GAAP.

Dividend Policy

Aries currently expects to pay a quarterly dividend in February, May, August and November of each year. Aries intends to pay its first dividend, in the amount of $0.52 per share, in November 2005, covering the four-month period between June 1, 2005 and September 30, 2005.

Mr. Bolin concluded, "Building on our successful IPO, we remain focused on making strategic decisions that drive shareholder value. Complementing our strategy of distributing significant dividends to our shareholders, we intend to draw upon our strong balance sheet and undrawn credit facility to seek future growth. In pursuing such opportunities we will solely focus on making financially prudent decisions that enable us to enhance our strong position in both the products tanker and container vessels market without sacrificing our ability to generate stable earnings."

Conference Call and Webcast Information

Aries Maritime Transport Limited will host an investor conference call on Thursday, August 11, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time to discuss its results.

To access the conference call, dial (973) 633-8200. Following the teleconference, a replay of the call may be accessed by dialing (973) 341-3080 and entering the reservation number 6350069. The replay will be available from 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, August 11, 2005, to 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, August 25, 2005. The conference call will also be webcast live on the Company's website: www.ariesmaritime.com. A replay of the webcast will be available immediately following the call through Thursday, August 25, 2005.

About Aries Maritime Transport Limited

Aries Maritime Transport Limited is an international shipping company that owns and operates products tankers and container vessels. The Company's products tanker fleet, which has an average age of 7.8 years and is 100% double-hulled, consists of four MR tankers, two Panamax tankers and one Aframax tanker. The Company also owns a fleet of five container vessels. The Company's container vessels have an average age of 15.6 years and range in capacity from 1,799 to 2,917 TEU. All of the Company's product tankers and container vessels currently operate under long-term time charters.

"Safe Harbor" Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995

This press release includes assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs about future events. These statements are intended as "forward-looking statements." We caution that assumptions, expectations, projections, intentions and beliefs about future events may and often do vary from actual results and the differences can be material. All statements in this document that are not statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, such matters as future operating or financial results; statements about planned, pending or recent acquisitions, business strategy and expected capital spending or operating expenses, including dry-docking and insurance costs; statements about trends in the container vessel and products tanker shipping markets, including charter rates and factors affecting supply and demand; our ability to obtain additional financing; expectations regarding the availability of vessel acquisitions; and anticipated developments with respect to pending litigation. The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including without limitation, management's examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and other data available from third parties. Although Aries Maritime Transport Limited believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, Aries Maritime Transport Limited cannot assure you that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections described in the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions, including changes in charter rates and vessel values, failure of a seller to deliver one or more vessels, failure of a buyer to accept delivery of a vessel, inability to procure acquisition financing, default by one or more charterers of our ships, changes in demand for oil and oil products, the effect of changes in OPEC's petroleum production levels, worldwide oil consumption and storage, changes in demand that may affect attitudes of time charterers, scheduled and unscheduled drydocking, changes in Aries Maritime Transport Limited's voyage and operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents, international hostilities and political events or acts by terrorists and other factors described in the Company's Registration Statement on Form F-1 and its Reports on Form 6-K filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. When used in this document, the words "anticipate," "estimate," "project," "forecast," "plan," "potential," "will," "may," "should," and "expect" reflect forward-looking statements.

ARIES MARITIME TRANSPORT LIMITED
UNAUDITED PREDECESSOR COMBINED CARVE-OUT STATEMENT OF INCOME FOR THE PERIOD
ENDED JUNE 30, 2004 AND UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME FOR THE
PERIOD ENDED JUNE 30, 2005
(All amounts expressed in thousands of U.S. Dollars,
 except share and per share amounts)
                                       (Unaudited)          (Unaudited)
                                    Six months period    Six months period
                                   ended June 30, 2004  ended June 30, 2005
                                   -------------------  -------------------
REVENUES:
        Revenues                            10,580               32,705
EXPENSES:
        Commissions                           (257)                (644)
        Voyage expenses                       (161)                  (1)
        Vessel operating expenses           (2,813)              (7,860)
        General and administrative               -                 (352)
        Depreciation                        (3,271)              (7,898)
        Amortization of dry-docking
         and special survey costs             (294)                (977)
        Management fees to related party      (226)                (622)
                                           -------              -------
                                            (7,022)             (18,354)
                                           -------              -------
        Net operating income                 3,558               14,351

OTHER INCOME (EXPENSES):
        Interest expense                    (1,807)              (8,126)
        Interest income                          7                  119
        Other income (expenses), net           (43)                 (32)
        Change in fair value of derivatives    276                  377
                                           -------              -------
        Total other income (expenses), net  (1,567)              (7,662)
                                           -------              -------

NET INCOME                                   1,991                6,689
                                           =======              =======
Pro forma earnings per share:
         Basic and diluted                   $0.07                $0.23
                                           =======              =======

Pro forma weighted average number of shares:
         Basic and diluted              28,416,877           28,416,877
                                        ==========           ==========


ARIES MARITIME TRANSPORT LIMITED
AUDITED PREDECESSOR COMBINED CARVE-OUT BALANCE SHEET AS AT  DECEMBER 31,
2004
AND UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEET AS AT  JUNE 30, 2005
(All amounts expressed in thousands of U.S. Dollars)

(Unaudited)
                                                  DECEMBER 31,     JUNE 30,
                                                         2004          2005
ASSETS
                      Current assets
      Cash and cash equivalents                         5,334        57,075
      Restricted cash                                   4,803         1,507
      Trade receivables                                   303           735
      Other receivables                                   114           317
      Inventories                                         435           585
      Prepaid expenses and other                          329           328
      Due from related parties                          1,053           925
                                                   ----------    ----------
                      Total current assets             12,371        61,472
                                                   ----------    ----------

      Restricted cash                                     813             -
      Receivables from disposal of vessels              2,000             -
      Vessels, net                                    228,895       269,143
      Other fixed assets, net                               -             8
      Deferred charges, net                             1,646         2,045
                                                   ----------    ----------
                      Total non-current assets        233,354       271,196
                                                   ----------    ----------
                          Total assets                245,725       332,668
                                                   ==========    ==========

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY
                   Current liabilities
      Current portion of long-term debt                21,910        14,179
      Accounts payable, trade                           3,829         3,027
      Accrued liabilities                               1,270         1,451
      Deferred income                                   2,051         1,652
      Derivative financial instruments                    248             -
      Deferred revenue                                  5,358         6,120
                                                   ----------    ----------
                    Total current liabilities          34,666        26,429
                                                   ----------    ----------


      Long-term debt, net of current portion          185,050       131,453
      Fair value of participation liability             6,500             -
      Deferred revenue                                  2,856        11,516
                                                   ----------    ----------

                          Total liabilities           229,072       169,398
                                                   ----------    ----------

      Commitments and contingencies (note 3)

                   Stockholders’ equity
      Common stock, $0.01 par value, 100 million
       shares authorised, 28.4 million shares
       issued and outstanding at December 31, 2004
       and June 30, 2005                                    -           284
      Additional paid-in capital                            -       141,523
      Retained earnings                                     -        21,463
      Invested equity                                  16,653             -
                                                   ----------   -----------
      Total stockholders’ equity                       16,653       163,270
                                                   ----------   -----------
      Total liabilities and stockholders' equity      245,725       332,668
                                                   ==========    ==========


OTHER FINANCIAL DATA
                                                Six Months Ended
(All amounts in US$000's)                           June 30,
                                               2004           2005
                                              ------         ------

Net cash provided by operating activities      4,920         13,433
Net cash used in investing activities       (138,036)       (35,701)
Net cash provided by financing activities    137,387         74,009

Contact Information

  • Company Contacts:

    Richard J.H. Coxall
    Chief Financial Officer
    Aries Maritime Transport Limited
    (011) 30 210 9467433

    Leon Berman
    Principal
    The IGB Group
    212-477-8438