TBS International Plc Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript

TBS International plc Q1 2010 Earnings Call Transcript
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TBS International plc (TBSI)

Q1 2010 Earnings Call

May 10, 2010; 10:00 am ET


Joseph Royce - Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer

Fred Lepere - Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer


Ben Nolan - Jefferies



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Thank you for standing by ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the TBS International first quarter ended March 31, 2010 earnings conference call. We have with us Mr. Joseph Royce, Chairman, President and CEO; and Mr. Fred Lepere, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the company.

The conference call will also be webcast live, audio and slideshow on the company’s website,


, by clicking on the webcast banner. I must advice you that this conference is being recorded today Monday, May 10, 2010.

We now pass the floor to one of your speakers today, Mr. Fred Lepere. Please go ahead Mr. Lepere.

Fred Lepere

Good morning and thank you for joining TBS International’s quarterly conference call. The purpose of today’s call is to discuss the results of TBS’s first quarter ended March 31, 2010.

This morning we issued a press release before the market opened in New York, with financial and operational information for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010. If you have not received this release, you may log onto to our website at


and navigate to the Investor Relations page, or you can call Capital Link at 212-661-7566. We’ll also post a transcript of this call on our website once it’s been prepared.

Our remarks today will be followed by a question-and-answer session. For those of you who want to follow our slide presentation, please go to the TBS website, which again is


and click on the webcast link. Note that the slides are user controlled.

For those of you who want to follow the webcast, please click on the arrow at the bottom of the webcast screen to make the slides turn. Also please note that the webcast will be archived on our website.

Now I’d like you to please turn to slide number one. This slide refers to forward-looking statements. During the course of this conference call we may make forward-looking statements. Such statements are just predictions and involve risks and uncertainties such that actual results may differ materially.

I’d like to refer you to our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in particular our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and our Annual Reports on Form 10-K. These documents contain and identify important factors that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those expressed in these forward-looking statements.

With that, I’d like to introduce Joseph Royce, our Chairman, CEO and President.

Joseph Royce

Thank you Fred. Good morning everyone, and welcome to TBS Internationals conference call, for the results of the first quarter ended March 31, 2010. With the leadership of our Chief Financial Officer, Fred Lepere, TBS concluded loan modification agreements with its lenders.

I want to thank our lenders for their unwavering support of TBS throughout this economic and financial crisis. We have received a sequential series of waivers of technical covenants to avoid loan defaults. Throughout this period, TBS made all principal and interest payments timely.

Recognizing the need for a permanent solution, our lenders work diligently with TBS to restructure our financing facilities. This restructuring is seen in a unanimous approval of our lenders, including each and every bank in our various bank syndicates without dissent.

Now we begin our presentation with slide number two; TBS today positioned for recovery. TBS is making positive progress, and emerging from the economic crisis, and financial delays that has affected world trade.

Our handymax and handysize bulk carriers are participating in the improving freight rates for the carriage of bulk cargos, and multipurpose tweendeckers showed a marked improvement in quarter one 2010, in both cargo volumes and fight rates, as our traditional customer base increased exports of steel, liner, project and general cargoes.

We are optimistic that the volume of finished cargos we carry will continue to improve throughout 2010, and that TBS would return to a more balanced rotation of its tweendecker fleet in the second half of this year.

In quarter one 2010 top line revenues, averaged daily Time Charter Equivalent or TCE, voyage earnings and EBITDA showed marked improvements over quarter one 2010. Commencing in quarter three 2009, we have also experienced steady quarterly improvement in top line revenues, average daily TCE and EBITDA.

Our business plan is to capitalize on the alliances TBS built during the past year to expand the TBS brand and the five star service in Latin America and Africa, which we view as emerging continents, within emerging and newer resources that will sustain by the growth for decades to come.

In March 2010 we took delivery of the M/V Dakota Princess, our second new building multipurpose tweendecker, and it has furthered out fleet to 49 vessels. This was another significant milestone for our company, and was part of our long-term fleet modernization and expansion program.

M/V Dakota Princess is the second in the series of six larger multipurpose tweendecker vessels, specifically designed by the TBS team with the objective to increase our operational flexibility, optimize our cargo transportation and support the requirements of our customer base.

Taking into account our increasing cargo volumes, inward fleet and improving freight rates, we have a positive outlook for the rest of the year ahead, and believe that we are well positioned to take advantage of the improved market condition as a result of the continued global recovery.

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