Odyssey Marine Exploration Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year Results

TAMPA, Fla., March 12, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX), a pioneer in the fields of deep-ocean shipwreck and offshore mineral exploration, reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2012.

Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial and Operational Highlights
  • Total revenue in the fourth quarter was $7.9 million as compared to $0.9 million in the same year-ago quarter.
  • The majority of the silver recovered in 2012 from the SS Gairsoppa shipwreck was sold in the quarter with fourth quarter proceeds of $30.1 million to Odyssey ($17.8 million of this was credited in third quarter to expenses as recoupment of project costs).
  • Shareholder value was created through mineral exploration and resource estimate operations which resulted in the development of Oceanica Resources in the first quarter of 2013 providing $15 million in cash and 62.6% ownership in Oceanica to the company.

Management Commentary

"In 2012, Odyssey made tremendous progress with our deep-ocean shipwreck projects using our advanced deep-ocean exploration and recovery technology," said Greg Stemm, Odyssey's Chief Executive Officer. "In fact, we achieved a record for the deepest and heaviest cargo recovery from a shipwreck during our work on the Gairsoppa, as we salvaged 48 tons of silver from a depth of more than 15,000 feet."

"The subsequent multi-million dollar sale of silver recovered from the Gairsoppa demonstrated how Odyssey can monetize such assets, generate positive cash flow, and fund our operations internally. Our monetization of this project helps us to move forward on our pipeline of recovery projects and to pursue emerging opportunities in mineral exploration."

"Such opportunities have already included development of Oceanica Resources, a newly organized company engaged in seafloor mineral exploration. As we recently reported, Oceanica controls exclusive mineral permits for areas that our surveys have indicated may hold highly valuable mineral resources. This led to the sale of a portion of Odyssey's ownership stake in Oceanica's which generated gross proceeds of $15 million for 15% of the company. We plan to use these proceeds for various other projects, including our planned silver recoveries from the SS Gairsoppa and SS Mantola.

"Looking ahead, we anticipate the weather conditions in the North Atlantic to allow us to resume Gairsoppa silver recovery operations in late May. Following the completion of the Gairsoppa recovery operations during the 2013 season, we plan to continue recovery operations on the Mantola shipwreck. We expect this to create further asset monetization and strengthen our ability to take advantage of the number of high-value projects in our pipeline."

Additional Project Update

From September 2012 to February 2013, Odyssey monetized its silver bullion recovered from the Gairsoppa. The company received more than $41 million in proceeds from sale of the 1,218 Gairsoppa silver bars recovered to date, with $1.8 million received in the first quarter of 2013. Odyssey anticipates an additional 1,599 insured silver ingots and what could be a substantial amount of uninsured silver remains on the Gairsoppa site. The company plans to use the proceeds to fund new exploratory and recovery projects.

In January 2012, following a period of consultation, the UK Ministry of Defence and the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport transferred future management responsibility of HMS Victory to the Maritime Heritage Foundation, a charity established to locate shipwrecks, investigate, recover and preserve artifacts to the highest archaeological standards and to promote knowledge and understanding of Britain's maritime heritage. In February 2012, the Maritime Heritage Foundation reached an agreement with Odyssey Marine Exploration for the financing, archaeological survey and excavation, conservation and exhibit of HMS Victory and artifacts from the shipwreck site.

The Maritime Heritage Foundation is currently awaiting final approval from the Ministry of Defence to move forward on the project.

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