GC Rieber loss in Dolphin wake

Terminated: charter for Polar Duchess

GC Rieber Shipping has taken a significant financial hit in the fourth-quarter after seeing three vessel charters terminated due to the bankruptcy of seismic contractor Dolphin Geophysical.

The Oslo-listed offshore vessel owner was left with Nkr189.7 million ($22.1 million) in unpaid receivables as a result of the termination by scuppered client Dolphin of the deals for seismic vessels Polar Marquis, Polar Duchess and Polar Empress, making a significant dent in its work backlog.

GC Rieber also racked up fleet impairments in the quarter of Nkr132.8 million after writing down the value of its vessels due to uncertainty over their earnings potential given a market slump due to low oil prices that have led to cutbacks by oil companies.

These costs, together with a charge of Nkr64 on deferred tax asssets, left the shipowner with a quarterly net loss of Nkr400.1 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of Nkr201.4 million as operating income dropped 31% year on year to Nkr179 million.

GC Rieber also had a negative operating result of Nkr309.5 million, compared with a profit of Nkr78.6 million a year ago.

Its full-year net loss widened significantly to Nkr307.7 million from Nkr80.1 million in 2014.

The shipowner is now looking to reduce costs through contract renegotiations as well as onshore and offshore staff cuts of 25% and 28%, respectively, this year.

GC Rieber, which runs a fleet of subsea, seismic and ice/support vessels, had a remaining backlog of Nkr789 million, excluding options, as of last month.

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