SOURCE: Excel Maritime

February 24, 2010 16:05 ET

Excel Maritime Reports Results for the Fourth Quarter and Year Ended December 31, 2009

ATHENS, GREECE--(Marketwire - February 24, 2010) - Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd (NYSE: EXM), an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a leading international provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, announced today its operating and financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2009.

Fourth Quarter 2009 Highlights:

-- Revenue from operations for the quarter amounted to $186.2 million as
   compared to $189.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2008.

-- Net profit for the quarter was $81.8 million or $1.00 per weighted
   average diluted share compared to a loss of $332.1 million or $7.56 per
   weighted average diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2008.

   -- The fourth quarter 2009 results include a non-cash unrealized
      interest-rate swap gain of $8.1 million compared to a non-cash
      unrealized interest-rate swap loss of $40.2 million in the
      corresponding period in 2008. The changes in the fair values of
      interest rate swaps are recorded in income as they do not meet the
      criteria for hedge accounting. In addition, the fourth quarter
      2009 results include a non cash loss on disposal of an ownership
      interest in one of our joint ventures amounting to $3.7 million. Net
      income, excluding the above items, for the fourth quarter of 2009
      would have amounted to $77.4 million or $0.95 per weighted average
      diluted share compared to an adjusted net income for the fourth
      quarter of 2008 of $72.3 million or $1.64 per weighted average
      diluted share (A reconciliation of adjusted Net income to Net Income
      is included in a subsequent section of this release).

-- Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $62.0 million
   compared to $54.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2008 (A
   reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to Net Income is included in a
   subsequent section of this release).

-- An average of 47 and 47.1 vessels were operated during the fourth
   quarters of 2009 and 2008, respectively, earning a blended average
   time charter equivalent rate of $22,686 and $23,207 per day,
   respectively.

Year ended December 31, 2009 Highlights:

-- Revenue from operations for the year ended December 31, 2009 amounted to
   $756.6 million from $696.1 million in the year ended December 31, 2008.

-- Net profit for year ended December 31, 2009 was $339.8 million or $4.85
   per weighted average diluted share compared to a loss of $55.9 million
   or $1.53 per weighted average diluted share in the respective period of
   2008.

-- The twelve months 2009 results include a non-cash unrealized interest-
   rate swap gain of $27.2 million compared to an unrealized interest rate
   swap loss of $25.8 million in the corresponding period in 2008.

    -- Net income for 2009 includes also a non-cash item of $0.1 million
       relating to the resulting gain from the sale of the vessel Swift and
       $3.7 million relating to the loss on disposal of our ownership
       interest in one of our joint ventures. Net income, excluding the
       above items, would have amounted to $316.2 million or $4.52 per
       weighted average diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2009
       compared to an adjusted net income of $334.1 million or $9.01 per
       weighted average diluted share for the respective period in 2008
       (A reconciliation of adjusted Net income to Net Income is included
       in a subsequent section of this release).

-- Adjusted EBITDA for the year ended December 31, 2009 was $231.7 million
   compared to $308.0 million for the respective period of 2008 (A
   reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to Net Income is included in a
   subsequent section of this release).

Fourth Quarter 2009 Corporate Developments

-- On October 27, 2009, in order to simplify and consolidate our
   newbuildings, we reached agreements with one of our joint venture
   partners for the exchange/transfer of our ownership interests in three
   consolidated joint venture companies under which we agreed to exchange
   our 50% ownership interest in Lillie ShipCo LLC for a consideration of
   $1.2 million and the transfer by the joint venture partner to us of its
   50% ownership interest in Hope ShipCo LLC. In addition, the joint
   venture partner sold its 28.6% ownership interest in Christine ShipCo
   LLC to us for a consideration of $2.8 million. Following the completion
   of the transaction, we became 100% owner of Hope ShipCo LLC and
   increased our interest in Christine ShipCo LLC to 71.4%. Both companies
   continue being consolidated in our financial statements, while Lillie
   ShipCo was deconsolidated as of the date we ceased to have a financial
   interest in it. The above transaction resulted in a total loss of $10.9
   million, out of which $3.7 million is related to the disposal of Lille
   ShipCo LLC and is separately reflected in our consolidated statements
   of operations, while the remaining $7.2 million is related to Hope
   ShipCo LLC and Christine ShipCo LLC and is reflected in our consolidated
   equity as of December 31, 2009, since the Company increased its
   controlling interest in those two consolidated companies.

-- On October 27, 2009, Hope ShipCo LLC and Christine ShipCo LLC loan
   agreements were amended to reflect the changes in the ownership of the
   companies discussed above.

Recent Developments

-- On February 11, 2010, Hope ShipCo LLC entered into a loan agreement for
   the pre and post delivery financing of Hope. The drawdown of the loan
   will be in various installments following the vessel construction
   progress through November 2010. The loan is repayable in twenty
   quarterly installments and a balloon payment through January 2016. The
   first installment will be due three months after the vessel delivery.

Vessels new fixtures

On November 5, 2009, the M/V Elinakos, a Panamax vessel of 73,751 dwt built in 1997, was fixed under a new time charter for a period of 4-6 months at a daily rate of $25,000.

On November 6, 2009, the M/V Renuar, a Panamax vessel of 70,155 dwt built in 1993, was fixed under a new time charter for a period of 12-14 months at a daily rate of $22,500.

On January 8, 2010, the M/V Princess I, a Handymax vessel of 38,858 dwt built in 1994, was fixed under a new time charter for a period of 3-4 months at a daily rate of $21,500.

Time Charter Coverage

We have secured under time charter employment 56% of our operating days for the year ending December 31, 2010.

Management Commentary:

Lefteris Papatrifon, Chief Financial Officer of Excel, stated, "We are pleased to report yet another profitable quarter with increased cash flow generation. Our balanced fleet deployment strategy has allowed us to take advantage of the continuously improving dry bulk market conditions and has resulted in increased EBITDA generation throughout the year. We believe that the performance of the dry bulk market throughout 2009 has verified our cautiously optimistic outlook that we have been communicating to the market since the first quarter of last year. We continue to believe that the dry bulk fundamentals remain intact, resulting in balanced market conditions for the short to medium term. Therefore, although we believe that our market will continue being volatile, we remain optimistic about the dry bulk market prospects and expect 2010 to be another financially strong year for our Company. During 2009, we have reduced our debt by approximately $217 million and our net debt to capitalization stood at 40% compared to 53% at the end of 2008. We will continue implementing our strategy of utilizing excess cash flows for further deleveraging while, at the same time, we will be looking forward to taking advantage of attractive growth opportunities that might be presented to us."

Fourth Quarter 2009 Results:

The Company reported net profit for the quarter of $81.8 million or $1.00 per weighted average diluted share compared to a loss of $332.1 million or $7.56 per weighted average diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2008.

The fourth quarter 2009 results include a non-cash unrealized interest-rate swap gain of $8.1 million compared to a non-cash unrealized interest-rate swap loss of $40.2 million in the corresponding period in 2008. In addition, the fourth quarter 2009 results include a non cash loss on disposal of an ownership interest in one of our joint ventures amounting to $3.7 million. Net income, excluding the above items, for the fourth quarter of 2009 would have amounted to $77.4 million or $0.95 per weighted average diluted share compared to an adjusted net income for the fourth quarter of 2008 of $72.3 million or $1.64 per weighted average diluted share (A reconciliation of adjusted Net income to Net Income is included in a subsequent section of this release).

Included in the above adjusted net income are also the amortization of favorable and unfavorable time charters that were fair valued upon acquiring Quintana Maritime Limited ("Quintana") on April 15, 2008 amounting to a net income of $73.4 million ($0.9 per weighted average diluted share) and $68.7 million ($1.6 per weighted average diluted share) for the fourth quarters of 2009 and 2008, respectively, and the amortization of stock based compensation expense of $5.5 million ($0.07 per weighted average diluted share) and $1.9 million ($0.04 per weighted average diluted share), for the quarters ended December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively.

In addition, effective January 1, 2009, we changed the method of accounting for dry-docking and special survey costs from the deferral method to the expense as incurred method and adopted FASB Accounting Standard Codification™ ("ASC") Topic 470-20 that changed the method of accounting for our Convertible Notes. Please refer to a subsequent section of this Press Release for a further discussion on these accounting changes.

Such changes were effected retrospectively to all periods presented and their effect in the quarter ended December 31, 2009 was an increase in net income of approximately $1.2 million or $0.01 per weighted average diluted share in relation to the change in dry-dock and special survey policy and a decrease in net income of $1.5 million or $0.02 per weighted average diluted share in relation to the change in the accounting for the convertible notes.

Revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 amounted to $186.2 million as compared to $189.2 million for the same period in 2008, a decrease of approximately 1.6%. Included in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2009 and 2008 are $83.5 million and $78.8 million, respectively of non-cash revenues relating to the amortization of unfavorable time charters that were fair valued upon acquiring Quintana.

An average of 47 and 47.1 vessels were operated during the fourth quarters of 2009 and 2008, respectively, earning a blended average time charter equivalent rate of $22,686 and $23,207 per day, respectively. Please refer to a subsequent section of this Press Release for a calculation of the TCE.

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2009 was $62.0 million compared to $54.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2008, an increase of approximately 12.9%. Please refer to a subsequent section of this Press Release for a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to Net Income.

Year ended December 31, 2009:

The Company reported net profit for year ended December 31, 2009 of $339.8 million or $4.85 per weighted average diluted share compared to a loss of $55.9 million or $1.53 per weighted average diluted share in the respective period of 2008.

The twelve months 2009 results include a non-cash unrealized interest-rate swap gain of $27.2 million compared to a non-cash unrealized interest-rate swap loss of $25.8 million in the corresponding period in 2008. Net income for 2009 also includes a non-cash item of $0.1 million relating to the resulting gain from the sale of vessel Swift and $3.7 million relating to the loss on disposal of our ownership interest in one of our joint ventures.

Net income, excluding the above items, would have amounted to $316.2 million or $4.52 per weighted average diluted share for the year ended December 31, 2009 compared to an adjusted net income of $334.1 million or $9.01 per weighted average diluted share for the respective period in 2008 (A reconciliation of adjusted Net income to Net Income is included in a subsequent section of this release).

Included in the above adjusted net income are also the amortization of favorable and unfavorable time charters discussed above and amounting to a net income of $324.4 million ($4.6 per weighted average diluted share) and $205.5 million ($5.6 per weighted average diluted share) for the year ended December 31, 2009 and 2008, respectively and the amortization of stock based compensation expense of $19.8 million ($0.3 per weighted average diluted share) and $8.6 million ($0.2 per weighted average diluted share), respectively.

The effect of the accounting changes discussed above in the year ended December 31, 2009 was a decrease in net income of approximately $1.2 million or $0.02 per weighted average diluted share due to the change in dry-dock and special survey policy and $5.9 million or $0.08 per weighted average diluted share due to the change in the accounting for the convertible notes.

Revenues for the year amounted to $756.6 million as compared to $696.1 million for the same period in 2008, an increase of approximately 8.7%. Included in revenues for the year ended December 31, 2009 and 2008 are $364.4 million and $234.0 million, respectively of non-cash revenues relating to the amortization of unfavorable time charters that were fair valued upon acquiring Quintana.

An average of 47.2 vessels were operated during the year ended December 31, 2009, earning a blended average time charter equivalent (TCE) rate of $21,932 per day compared to $31,291 per day for the year ended December 31, 2008 earned by an average of 38.6 vessels. Please refer to a subsequent section of this Press Release for a calculation of the TCE.

Adjusted EBITDA for the year was $231.7 million compared to $308.0 million for the respective period of 2008, a decrease of approximately 24.8%. Please refer to a subsequent section of this Press Release for a reconciliation of adjusted EBITDA to Net Income.

Conference Call Details:

Tomorrow February 25, 2010 at 09:30 A.M. EST, the company's management will host a conference call to discuss the results.

Participants should dial into the call 10 minutes before the scheduled time using the following numbers: 1 866 819 7111 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0800 953 0329 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)1452 542 301 (Standard International Dial In). Please quote "Excel Maritime" to the operator.

A telephonic replay of the conference call will be available until March 4, 2010 by dialing 1 866 247 4222 (US Toll Free Dial In), 0800 953 1533 (UK Toll Free Dial In) or +44 (0)1452 550 000 (Standard International Dial In). Access Code: 1838801#

Slides and audio webcast:

There will also be a live, and then archived, webcast of the conference call, available through Excel Maritime Carriers' website (www.excelmaritime.com). Participants for the live webcast should register on the website approximately 10 minutes prior to the start of the webcast.

- Financial Statements and Other Financial Data Follow -

               EXCEL MARITIME CARRIERS LTD AND SUBSIDIARIES
              UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
      FOR THE THREE- MONTH PERIODS ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2008 AND 2009
    (In thousands of U.S. Dollars, except for share and per share data)



                                                 Three-Month period ended
                                                         December 31,
                                                     2008
                                                (as adjusted)     2009
                                                ------------  ------------
REVENUES:
Voyage revenues                                 $    110,145  $    102,634
Time Charter fair value amortization                  78,816        83,497
Revenue from managing related party vessels              192           106
                                                ------------  ------------
Revenue from operations                              189,153       186,237
                                                ------------  ------------

EXPENSES:
  Voyage expenses                                     10,950         4,971
  Charter hire expense                                 8,274         8,276
  Charter hire amortization                           10,066        10,068
  Commissions to a related party                         659           658
  Vessel operating expenses                           21,976        20,316
  Depreciation expense                                30,317        31,075
  Dry-docking and special survey cost                  3,982         1,622
  General and administrative expenses                  7,762        12,178
                                                ------------  ------------
                                                      93,986        89,164
                                                ------------  ------------

  Vessel impairment loss                              (2,232)            -
  Loss on disposal of JV ownership interest                -        (3,705)
  Write down of goodwill                            (335,404)            -
  Loss from vessel's purchase cancellation           (15,632)            -

  Income (loss) from operations                     (258,101)       93,368
                                                ------------  ------------

OTHER INCOME (EXPENSES):
  Interest and finance costs                         (20,083)      (12,004)
  Interest income                                        400           286
  Interest rate swap gain (loss)                     (42,659)          107
  Foreign exchange gain (loss)                           154           (91)
  Other, net                                            (659)          225
                                                ------------  ------------
  Total other income (expenses), net                 (62,847)      (11,477)
                                                ------------  ------------

Net income (loss) before taxes and income from
 investment in affiliate                            (320,948)       81,891
                                                ------------  ------------

US Source Income taxes                                  (189)         (145)
                                                ------------  ------------
Net income (loss) before income from investment
 in affiliate                                       (321,137)       81,746
                                                ------------  ------------

Income from Investment in affiliate                      (34)            -
Loss in value of investment in affiliate             (10,963)            -
                                                ------------  ------------
Net income (loss)                                   (332,134)       81,746
                                                ------------  ------------

Plus: Loss assumed by the non controlling
 interests                                                41            30
                                                ------------  ------------

                                                ------------  ------------
Net income (loss) attributable to Excel
 Maritime Carriers Ltd.                         $   (332,093) $     81,776
                                                ============  ============

Earnings (losses) per common share, basic       $      (7.56) $       1.05
                                                ============  ============
Weighted average number of shares, basic          43,985,293    77,895,466
                                                ============  ============
Earnings (losses) per common share, diluted     $      (7.56) $       1.00
                                                ============  ============
Weighted average number of shares, diluted        43,985,293    81,546,216
                                                ============  ============




               EXCEL MARITIME CARRIERS LTD AND SUBSIDIARIES
              UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
              FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2008 AND 2009
    (In thousands of U.S. Dollars, except for share and per share data)


                                                       Year ended
                                                       December 31,
                                                    2008           2009
                                                (as adjusted)   (unaudited)
                                                ------------  ------------
REVENUES:
Voyage revenues                                 $    461,203  $    391,746
Time Charter fair value amortization                 233,967       364,368
Revenue from managing related party vessels              890           488
                                                ------------  ------------
Revenue from operations                              696,060       756,602
                                                ------------  ------------

EXPENSES:
  Voyage expenses                                     28,145        19,317
  Charter hire expense                                23,385        32,832
  Charter hire amortization                           28,447        39,952
  Commissions to a related party                       3,620         2,260
  Vessel operating expenses                           69,684        83,197
  Depreciation expense                                98,753       123,411
  Dry-docking and special survey cost                 13,511        11,379
  General and administrative expenses                 32,925        42,995
                                                ------------  ------------
                                                     298,470       355,343
                                                ------------  ------------

  Gain on sale of vessel                                   -            61
  Loss on disposal of JV ownership interest                -        (3,705)
  Vessel impairment loss                              (2,232)            -
  Write down of goodwill                            (335,404)            -
  Loss from vessel's purchase cancellation           (15,632)            -

  Income from operations                              44,322       397,615
                                                ------------  ------------

OTHER INCOME (EXPENSES):
  Interest and finance costs                         (61,942)      (57,096)
  Interest income                                      7,053           809
  Interest rate swap loss                            (35,884)       (1,126)
  Foreign exchange gain (loss)                            71          (322)
  Other, net                                           1,585           408
                                                ------------  ------------
  Total other income (expenses), net                 (89,117)      (57,327)
                                                ------------  ------------

Net income (loss) before taxes and income from
 investment in affiliate                             (44,795)      340,288
                                                ------------  ------------

US Source Income taxes                                  (783)         (660)

                                                ------------  ------------
Net income (loss) before income from investment
 in affiliate                                        (45,578)      339,628
                                                ------------  ------------
Income from Investment in affiliate                      487             -
Loss in value of investment in affiliate             (10,963)            -
                                                ------------  ------------
Net income (loss)                                    (56,054)      339,628
                                                ------------  ------------

Plus: Loss assumed by the non controlling
 interests                                               140           154

                                                ------------  ------------
Net income (loss) attributable to Excel
 Maritime Carriers Ltd.                         $    (55,914) $    339,782
                                                ============  ============

Earnings (losses) per common  share, basic      $      (1.53) $       5.03
                                                ============  ============
Weighted average number of shares, basic          37,003,101    67,565,178
                                                ============  ============
Earnings (losses) per common   share, diluted   $      (1.53) $       4.85
                                                ============  ============
Weighted average number of shares, diluted        37,003,101    69,999,760
                                                ============  ============


               EXCEL MARITIME CARRIERS LTD AND SUBSIDIARIES
                        CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
                      AT DECEMBER 31, 2008 AND 2009
                      (In thousands of U.S. Dollars)



                                                        December 31,
                                                    2008           2009
                                                (as adjusted)  (unaudited)
                                                ------------  ------------
ASSETS

CURRENT ASSETS:
  Cash and cash equivalents                     $    109,792  $    100,098
  Restricted cash                                         53        34,426
  Accounts receivable                                 10,247         6,016
  Other current assets                                 6,958         7,560
                                                ------------  ------------
  Total current assets                               127,050       148,100
                                                ------------  ------------

FIXED ASSETS:
  Vessels, net                                     2,786,717     2,660,163
  Advances for vessels under construction            106,898        71,184
  Office furniture and equipment, net                  1,722         1,450
                                                ------------  ------------
  Total fixed assets, net                          2,895,337     2,732,797
                                                ------------  ------------

OTHER NON CURRENT ASSETS:
  Time charters acquired, net                        264,263       224,311
  Restricted cash                                     24,947        24,974
  Investment in affiliate                              5,212             -

                                                ------------  ------------
        Total assets                            $  3,316,809  $  3,130,182
                                                ============  ============

LIABILITIES AND STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY

CURRENT LIABILITIES:
  Current portion of long-term debt, net of
   deferred financing fees                      $    220,410  $    134,681
  Accounts payable                                     6,440         5,349
  Other current liabilities                           47,934        47,801
  Current portion of financial instruments            40,119        29,343
                                                ------------  ------------
   Total current liabilities                         314,903       217,174
                                                ------------  ------------

Long-term debt, net of current portion and net
 of deferred financing fees                        1,256,707     1,121,765
Time charters acquired, net                          650,781       280,413
Financial instruments                                 41,020        24,558

                                                ------------  ------------
   Total liabilities                               2,263,411     1,643,910
                                                ------------  ------------

Commitments and contingencies                              -             -
                                                ------------  ------------

STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY:
  Preferred stock                                          -             -
  Common stock                                           461           799
  Additional paid-in capital                         944,207     1,046,606
  Other Comprehensive Loss                               (74)          (85)
  Retained earnings                                   94,063       433,845
  Less: Treasury stock                                  (189)         (189)
                                                ------------  ------------
  Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd. Stockholders'
   equity                                          1,038,468     1,480,976
                                                ------------  ------------
  Non-controlling interests                           14,930         5,296
                                                ------------  ------------
  Total Stockholders' Equity                       1,053,398     1,486,272

                                                ------------  ------------
        Total liabilities and stockholders'
         equity                                 $  3,316,809  $  3,130,182
                                                ============  ============


               EXCEL MARITIME CARRIERS LTD AND SUBSIDIARIES
                  CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF CASH FLOWS
              FOR THE YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2008 AND 2009
                      (In thousands of U.S. Dollars)



                                                        Year ended
                                                        December 31,
                                                     2008        2009
                                                (as adjusted) (unaudited)
                                                ------------  ------------
Cash Flows from Operating Activities:
  Net income (loss)                             $    (56,054) $    339,628
  Adjustments to reconcile net income (loss) to
   net cash provided by operating activities         301,283      (194,786)
  Changes in operating assets and liabilities:
    Operating assets                                  (2,259)        3,629
    Operating liabilities                             20,929        (1,219)
                                                ------------  ------------
Net Cash provided by Operating Activities       $    263,899  $    147,252
                                                ------------  ------------

Cash Flows from Investing Activities:
    Acquisition of Quintana, net of cash
     acquired                                       (692,420)            -
    Joint ventures ownership transfer                      -        (1,591)
    Advances for vessels under construction          (84,866)       (9,379)
    Additions to vessel cost                            (342)         (113)
    Additions to office furniture and equipment         (401)         (146)
    Payment for vessel's purchase cancellation        (7,250)            -
    Proceeds received from Oceanaut's
     liquidation                                           -         5,212
    Proceeds from sale of vessel                           -         3,735
                                                ------------  ------------
Net cash used in Investing Activities           $   (785,279) $     (2,282)
                                                ------------  ------------

Cash Flows from Financing Activities:
    Increase in restricted cash                      (10,000)      (34,400)
    Proceeds from long-term debt                   1,405,642         5,067
    Repayment of long-term debt                     (944,945)     (216,851)
    Payment of financing costs                       (15,290)       (1,938)
    Issuance of common stock, net of issuance
     costs                                              (131)       90,130
    Capital contributions from non-controlling
     interest owners                                     738         3,328
    Dividends paid                                   (48,514)            -
                                                ------------  ------------
Net cash provided by (used in) Financing
 Activities                                     $    387,500  $   (154,664)
                                                ------------  ------------

Net decrease in cash and cash equivalents           (133,880)       (9,694)
Cash and cash equivalents at beginning of
 period                                              243,672       109,792
                                                ------------  ------------
Cash and cash equivalents at end of the period  $    109,792  $    100,098
                                                ============  ============

SUPPLEMENTAL CASH FLOW INFORMATION:
  Cash paid during the period for:
    Interest payments                           $     35,595  $     56,159
    U.S. Source income taxes                             861           740

  Non-cash financing activities
    Class A common stock issued as part of the
     consideration paid for the acquisition of
     Quintana                                   $    682,333  $          -

    Class A common stock issued as part of
     vessel purchase cancellation                      8,382             -





                          Adjusted EBITDA Reconciliation
                    (all amounts in thousands of U.S. Dollars)

                                      Three-month
                                      period ended         Year ended
                                      December 31,         December 31,
                                      2008      2009      2008      2009
Net income (loss)                   (332,093)   81,776   (55,914)  339,782
Interest and finance costs, net (1)   22,164    19,675    64,952    84,651
Depreciation                          30,317    31,075    98,753   123,411
Dry-dock and special survey cost       3,982     1,622    13,511    11,379
Vessel impairment loss                 2,232         -     2,232         -
Write down of goodwill               335,404         -   335,404         -
Loss from vessel's purchase
 cancellation                          8,382         -     8,382         -
Loss on disposal of JV ownership
 interest                                  -     3,705         -     3,705
Loss in value of investment           10,963         -    10,963         -
Unrealized swap (gain) loss           40,178    (8,064)   25,821   (27,238)
Amortization of T/C fair values (2)  (68,750)  (73,429) (205,520) (324,416)
Stock based compensation               1,922     5,528     8,596    19,847
Gain on sale of vessel                     -         -         -       (61)
Taxes                                    189       145       783       660
                                    --------  --------  --------  --------
Adjusted EBITDA                       54,890    62,033   307,963   231,720
                                    ========  ========  ========  ========

(1) Includes swap interest paid and received
(2) Analysis:

                                  Three-month
                                  period ended            Year ended
                                   December 31,           December 31,
                                 2008        2009       2008        2009
Non-cash amortization of
 unfavorable time charters
 in revenue                    (78,816)    (71,883)   (233,967)   (301,280)
Non-cash accelerated
 amortization of M/V
 Sandra, Coal Pride and
 Grain Harvester time
 charter fair value due to
 charter termination                 -     (11,614)          -     (63,088)
Non-cash amortization of
 favorable time charters in
 charter hire expense           10,066      10,068      28,447      39,952
                            ----------  ----------  ----------  ----------
                               (68,750)    (73,429)   (205,520)   (324,416)
                            ==========  ==========  ==========  ==========


        Reconciliation of Net Income (loss) to Adjusted Net Income
                (all amounts in thousands of U.S. Dollars)

                                       Three-month
                                       period ended        Year ended
                                       December 31,        December 31,
                                      2008      2009      2008      2009
Net income (loss)                   (332,093)   81,776   (55,914)  339,782
Unrealized swap loss (gain)           40,178    (8,064)   25,821   (27,238)
Goodwill impairment charge           335,404         -   335,404         -
Vessel impairment loss                 2,232         -     2,232         -
Loss in value of investment           10,963         -    10,963         -
Loss from vessel purchase
 cancellation                         15,632         -    15,632         -
Loss on disposal of JV ownership
 interest                                  -     3,705         -     3,705
Gain on sale of vessel                     -         -         -       (61)
                                    --------  --------  --------  --------
Adjusted Net income                   72,316    77,417   334,138   316,188
                                    ========  ========  ========  ========




    Reconciliation of Earnings (losses) per Share (Diluted) to Adjusted
                       Earnings per Share (Diluted)
                      (all amounts in  U.S. Dollars)

                                          Three-month
                                          period ended       Year ended
                                          December 31,       December 31,
                                          2008     2009     2008     2009
Earnings (losses) per Share (Diluted)   $ (7.56) $  1.00  $ (1.53) $  4.85
Unrealized swap loss (gain)                0.91     (0.1)     0.7     (0.4)
Goodwill impairment charge                 7.63        -     9.06        -
Vessel impairment loss                     0.05        -     0.06        -
Loss in value of investment                0.25        -     0.30        -
Loss from vessel purchase cancellation     0.36        -     0.42        -
Loss on disposal of JV ownership
 interest                                     -     0.05        -     0.07
Gain on sale of vessel                        -        -        -    - (*)
                                        -------  -------  -------  -------
Adjusted Earnings per Share (Diluted)   $  1.64  $  0.95  $  9.01  $  4.52
                                        =======  =======  =======  =======

(*) Effect insignificant


Accounting changes:

Change in Dry-docking and Special survey accounting policy

Effective January 1, 2009, we changed the method of accounting for dry-docking and special survey costs from the deferral method, under which costs associated with the dry-docking and special survey of a vessel are deferred and charged to expense over the period to a vessel's next scheduled dry-docking, to the direct expense method, under which the dry-docking and special survey costs will be expensed as incurred. We consider this as a preferable method because (i) it eliminates the subjectivity in the financial statements that occurs when determining which costs are eligible for deferral; such elimination of subjectivity enhances transparency in the balance sheet; (ii) is consistent with recent accounting policy and informal trends in the shipping industry and (iii) is consistent with the asset and liability framework in the concept statements.

Adoption of new accounting pronouncements

Effective January 1, 2009, we adopted FASB Accounting Standard Codification™ ("ASC") Topic 470-20 which requires issuers of convertible debt to account separately for the liability and equity components in a manner that reflects the issuers' non-convertible debt borrowing rate. The resulting debt discount is amortized over the period the debt is expected to be outstanding as additional non-cash interest expense. ASC 470-20 requires retrospective restatement of all periods presented with the cumulative effect of the change in accounting principles on prior periods recognized in retained earnings as of the beginning of the first period presented.

Effective January 1, 2009, we adopted an amendment contained in ASC 810 which establishes guidelines for accounting for changes in ownership percentages and for deconsolidation in partially owned subsidiaries. This standard defines a non-controlling interest, previously called a minority interest, as the portion of equity in a subsidiary not attributable, directly or indirectly, to us.

With the exception of the amendment made in ASC 810 which require retrospective application only in the presentation and disclosure requirements, the other two accounting changes require retrospective application for all periods presented and were effected in the accompanying consolidated financial statements in accordance with ASC Topic 250 "Accounting Changes and Error Corrections", which requires that an accounting change should be retrospectively applied to all prior periods presented, unless it is impractical to determine the prior period impacts.

Accordingly, the previously reported 2008 financial information has been recast to account for these changes.

Disclosure of Non-GAAP Financial Measures

Adjusted EBITDA represents net income plus net interest expense, depreciation, amortization, and taxes eliminating the effect of deferred stock-based compensation, gains or losses on the sale of vessels, amortization of deferred time charter assets and liabilities and unrealized gains or losses on swaps, which are significant non-cash items. Following the Company's change in the method of accounting for dry docking and special survey costs, such costs are also included in the adjustments to EBITDA for comparability purposes. The Company's management uses adjusted EBITDA as a performance measure. The Company believes that adjusted EBITDA is useful to investors, because the shipping industry is capital intensive and may involve significant financing costs. Adjusted EBITDA is not a measure 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. The Company's definition of adjusted EBITDA may not be the same as that used by other companies in the shipping or other industries.

Adjusted Net Income represents net income plus unrealized gains or losses from our swap transactions and any gains or losses on sale of vessels, both of which are significant non-cash items. Adjusted Earnings per Share (diluted) represents Adjusted Net Income divided by weighted average shares outstanding (diluted).

These measures are "non-GAAP financial measures" and should not be considered substitutes for net income or earnings per share (diluted), respectively, as reported under GAAP. The Company has included an adjusted net income and adjusted earnings per share (diluted) calculation in this period in order to facilitate comparability between the Company's performance in the reported periods and its performance in prior periods.

About Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd

Excel is an owner and operator of dry bulk carriers and a provider of worldwide seaborne transportation services for dry bulk cargoes, such as iron ore, coal and grains, as well as bauxite, fertilizers and steel products. Excel owns a fleet of 40 vessels and, together with 7 Panamax vessels under bareboat charters, operates 47 vessels (5 Capesize, 14 Kamsarmax, 21 Panamax, 2 Supramax and 5 Handymax vessels) with a total carrying capacity of approximately 3.9 million DWT. Excel Class A common shares have been listed since September 15, 2005 on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol EXM and, prior to that date, were listed on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) since 1998. For more information about the Company, please go to our corporate website www.excelmaritime.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release 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 growth strategy and measures to implement such strategy; including expected vessel acquisitions and entering into further time charters.

Words such as "expects," "intends," "plans," "believes," "anticipates," "hopes," "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 the ability to changes in the demand for dry bulk vessels, 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.

APPENDIX

The following key indicators highlight the Company's financial and operating performance for the three months and the year ended December 31, 2009 compared to the corresponding periods in the prior year. In the table below, the Panamax fleet includes both Kamsarmax and Panamax vessels and the Handymax fleet includes both Supramax and Handymax vessels:




                            Vessel Employment
            (In U.S. Dollars per day, unless otherwise stated)

            CAPESIZE FLEET  PANAMAX FLEET  HANDYSIZE FLEET   TOTAL FLEET
                        Three-month period ended December 31,
             2008    2009    2008    2009    2008    2009    2008    2009
            ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------

Total
 calendar
 days          374     460   3,220   3,220     736     644   4,330   4,324
Available
 days under
 period
 charter       374     460   2,484   2,225      98      92   2,956   2,777
Available
 days under
 spot/short
 duration
 charter         -       -     653     969     637     530   1,290   1,499
Utilization  100.0%  100.0%   97.4%   99.2%   99.9%   96.6%   98.1%   98.9%
Time
 charter
 equivalent
 per ship
 per
 day-period 52,023  38,128  26,571  21,480  25,479  10,208  29,754  23,866
Time
 charter
 equivalent
 per ship
 per
 day-spot        -       -   7,703  22,203   8,724  17,416   8,207  20,510
Time
 charter
 equivalent
 per ship
 per
 day-weighted
 average    52,023  38,128  22,642  21,700  10,959  16,351  23,207  22,686
Net daily
 revenue
 per ship
 per day    52,023  38,128  22,061  21,518  10,937  15,798  22,757  22,434
Vessel
 operating
 expenses
 per ship
 per day    (5,423) (5,230) (5,067) (4,604) (4,937) (4,804) (5,075) (4,698)
Net
 Operating
 cash flows
 per ship
 per day
 before G&A
 expenses   46,600  32,898  16,994  16,914   6,000  10,994  17,682  17,736
            ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------ 


                            Vessel Employment
            (In U.S. Dollars per day, unless otherwise stated)

            CAPESIZE FLEET  PANAMAX FLEET  HANDYSIZE FLEET   TOTAL FLEET
                                Year ended December 31,
             2008    2009    2008    2009    2008    2009    2008    2009
            ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------

Total
 calendar
 days        1,046   1,825  10,160  12,775   2,928   2,629  14,134  17,229
Available
 days under
 period
 charter     1,016   1,804   8,457   9,099     614     460  10,087  11,363
Available
 days under
 spot/short
 duration
 charter        30       -   1,451   3,464   2,156   2,051   3,637   5,515
Utilization  100.0%   98.8%   97.5%   98.3%   94.6%   95.5%   97.1%   98.0%
Time
 charter
 equivalent
 per ship
 per
 day-period 50,863  40,373  26,627  22,936  33,736  14,067  29,501  25,344
Time
 charter
 equivalent
 per ship
 per
 day-spot  118,107       -  38,798  16,301  33,412  12,538  36,254  14,901
Time
 charter
 equivalent
 per ship
 per
 day-weighted
 average    52,777  40,373  28,410  21,107  33,484  12,818  31,291  21,932
Net daily
 revenue
 per ship
 per day    52,777  39,898  27,706  20,757  31,676  12,243  30,384  21,485
Vessel
 operating
 expenses
 per ship
 per day    (5,013) (5,280) (4,932) (4,731) (4,888) (4,994) (4,930) (4,829)
Net
 Operating
 cash flows
 per ship
 per day
 before G&A
 expenses   47,764  34,618  22,774  16,026  26,788   7,249  25,454  16,656
            ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------  ------

Glossary of Terms

Average number of vessels: This is the number of vessels that constituted our fleet for the relevant period, as measured by the sum of the number of calendar days each vessel was a part of our fleet during the period divided by the number of calendar days in that period.

Total calendar days: We define these as the total days we owned the vessels in our fleet for the relevant period including off hire days associated with major repairs, dry dockings or special or intermediate surveys. Calendar days are an indicator of the size of the fleet over a period and affect both the amount of revenues and the amount of expenses that are recorded during a period.

Available days: These are the calendar days less the aggregate number of off-hire days associated with major repairs, dry docks or special or intermediate surveys and the aggregate amount of time spent positioning vessels and any unforeseen off-hire. The shipping industry uses available days to measure the number of days in a period during which vessels should be capable of generating revenue.

Available days under spot / short duration charter: This is defined as available days under spot charters and / or time charters of duration of less than six months.

Fleet utilization: This is the percentage of time that our vessels were available for revenue generating days, and is determined by dividing available days by calendar days for the relevant period.

Time charter equivalent per ship per day ("TCE"): This is a measure of the average daily revenue performance of a vessel on a per voyage basis. Our method of calculating TCE is consistent with industry standards and is determined by dividing revenue generated from voyage charters net of voyage expenses by available days for the relevant time period. Voyage expenses primarily consist of port, canal and fuel costs that are unique to a particular voyage, which would otherwise be paid by the charterer under a time charter contract, as well as commissions. Time charter equivalent revenue and TCE rate are not measures of financial performance under U.S. GAAP and may not be comparable to similarly titled measures of other companies. However, TCE is a standard shipping industry performance measure used primarily to compare period-to-period changes in a shipping company's performance despite changes in the mix of charter types (i.e., spot voyage charters, time charters and bareboat charters) under which the vessels may be employed between the periods.

                    Time Charter Equivalent Calculation
 (all amounts in thousands of U.S. Dollars, except for Daily Time Charter
                      Equivalent and available days)

                          For the three-month
                          period ended December      For the year ended
                                  31,                   December 31,
                        ------------------------  ------------------------
                            2008         2009         2008         2009
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
Voyage revenues             110,145      102,634      461,203      391,746
Voyage expenses             (11,609)      (5,629)     (31,765)     (21,577)
                        -----------  -----------  -----------  -----------
Time Charter Equivalent      98,536       97,005      429,438      370,169
                        ===========  ===========  ===========  ===========
Total available days          4,246        4,276       13,724       16,878
Daily Time charter
 equivalent                  23,207       22,686       31,291       21,932

Net daily revenue: We define this as the daily TCE rate including idle time.

Daily vessel operating expenses: This includes crew costs, provisions, deck and engine stores, lubricating oil, insurance, maintenance and repairs and is calculated by dividing vessel operating expenses by total calendar days for the relevant time period.

Daily general and administrative expense: This is calculated by dividing general and administrative expense by total calendar days for the relevant time period.

Expected Amortization Schedule for Fair Valued Time Charters for Next Year
(in USD millions)              1Q'10    2Q'10    3Q'10    4Q'10    Total

Amortization of
 unfavorable time
 charters (1)                   67.9     66.8     55.7     54.4    244.8
Amortization of
 favorable time charters(2)     (9.9)   (10.0)   (10.1)   (10.2)   (40.2)

    (1) Adjustment to Revenue from operations i.e. increases revenues
    (2) Adjustment to Charter hire expenses i.e. increases charter hire
        expense

Fleet List as of February 18, 2010:

                                                                  Average
                                            Charter               Charter
Vessel Name             Dwt     Year Built   Type     Daily rate Expiration

Iron Miner              177,931    2007     Period    $   42,105   Feb 2012
                                                      $   49,000
Kirmar                  164,218    2001     Period          (net)  May 2013
Iron Beauty             164,218    2001     Period    $   36,500   May 2010
Lowlands Beilun         170,162    1999     Period    $   36,000   May 2010
Sandra (1)              180,274    2008     Period    $   32,000   Sep 2010
Total Capesize          856,803
Iron Manolis             82,269    2007     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Iron Brooke              82,594    2007     Period    $   21,000   Dec 2010
Iron Lindrew             82,598    2007     Period    $   21,000   Dec 2010
Coal Hunter              82,298    2006     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Pascha                   82,574    2006     Period    $   21,000   Dec 2010
Coal Gypsy               82,221    2006     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Iron Anne                82,220    2006     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Iron Vassilis            82,257    2006     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Iron Bill                82,187    2006     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Santa Barbara            82,266    2006     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Ore Hansa                82,209    2006     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Iron Kalypso             82,224    2006     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Iron Fuzeyya             82,209    2006     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Iron Bradyn              82,769    2005     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Total Kamsarmax       1,152,895
Grain Harvester          76,417    2004      Spot
Grain Express            76,466    2004     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Iron Knight              76,429    2004     Period    $   22,000   Dec 2010
Coal Pride               72,493    1999      Spot
Isminaki                 74,577    1998     Period    $   24,000   Mar 2010
Angela Star              73,798    1998      Spot     $   29,000   May 2010
Elinakos                 73,751    1997      Spot     $   25,000   Apr 2010
Happy Day                71,694    1997      Spot
Iron Man (A)             72,861    1997     Period    $   18,500   May 2010
Coal Age (A)             72,824    1997     Period    $   21,250   Oct 2010
Fearless I (A)           73,427    1997     Period    $   22,250   Mar 2010
Barbara (A)              73,307    1997     Period    $   23,000   Jul 2010
Linda Leah (A)           73,317    1997      Spot
King Coal (A)            72,873    1997     Period    $   56,000   Jun 2011
Coal Glory (A)           73,670    1995      Spot
Powerful                 70,083    1994      Spot
First Endeavour          69,111    1994      Spot
Rodon                    73,656    1993      Spot
Birthday                 71,504    1993     Period    $   16,500   Jul 2010
Renuar                   70,155    1993     Period    $   22,500   Dec 2010
Fortezza                 69,634    1993      Spot
Total Panamax         1,532,047
July M                   55,567    2005     Period    $   25,000   May 2010
Mairouli                 53,206    2005      Spot
Total Supramax          108,773
Emerald                  45,588    1998      Spot
Princess I               38,858    1994     Period    $   21,500   Apr 2010
Marybelle                42,552    1987      Spot
Attractive               41,524    1985      Spot
Lady                     41,090    1985      Spot
Total Handymax          209,612
Total Fleet           3,860,130
Average age                       9.7 Yrs
                     ----------  --------- ---------- ---------- ----------



Fleet to be                                            Estimated
 delivered               Type              Dwt         delivery (B)
                       --------        -------         -------------
Christine (D)          Capesize        180,000         April 2010
Hope (E)               Capesize        181,000         November 2010
Total fleet to be
 delivered                             361,000



Fleet to be                                            Estimated
 delivered (c)           Type              Dwt         delivery (B)
                       --------        -------         -------------
Fritz (F)              Capesize        180,000         May 2010
Benthe (F)             Capesize        180,000         June 2010
Gayle Frances (F)      Capesize        180,000         July 2010
Iron Lena (F)          Capesize        180,000         August 2010

(1) A second charter on the vessel has been fixed commencing upon completion of her current charter and through February 2016 at a daily base rate of $25,000, with 50% profit sharing based on the monthly AV4 BCI charter rate as published by the Baltic Exchange.

(A) These vessels were sold in 2007 and leased back on a bareboat charter through July 2015.

(B) The delivery dates shown in this column are estimates based on the delivery dates set forth in the relevant shipbuilding contracts or resale agreements.

(C) No refund guarantee has been received for these newbuildings and Excel does not believe that the respective new building contracts will materialize. There can be no assurance that the vessels will be delivered timely or at all.

(D) Excel holds 71.4% interest in the joint venture that will own the vessel.

(E) Excel holds 100% interest in the company that will own the vessel.

(F) Excel holds a 50% interest in the joint ventures that will own these vessels.

For further details on the fleet and their employment please refer to our website at www.excelmaritime.com

Contact Information

  • Contacts:

    Investor Relations / Financial Media:
    Nicolas Bornozis
    President
    Capital Link, Inc.
    230 Park Avenue - Suite 1536
    New York, NY 10160, USA
    Tel: (212) 661-7566
    Fax: (212) 661-7526

    E-Mail: excelmaritime@capitallink.com
    www.capitallink.com

    Company:
    Lefteris Papatrifon
    Chief Financial Officer
    Excel Maritime Carriers Ltd.
    17th Km National Road Athens-Lamia & Finikos Street
    145 64 Nea Kifisia
    Athens, Greece
    Tel: 011-30-210-62-09-520
    Fax: 011-30-210-62-09-528

    E-Mail: ir@excelmaritime.com
    www.excelmaritime.com