Euroseas, Ltd., an owner and operator of drybulk carriers and container vessels and provider of seaborne transportation for dry bulk and containerized cargoes, announced that its Board of Directors has declared a dividend of $0.31 per common share for the first quarter of 2008. The dividend is payable on June 18, 2008 to all shareholders of record as of June 06, 2008. This dividend is $0.01 above the previous quarterly dividend and $0.07 above the dividend paid for the same period last year.
The Company also announced that it has signed a memorandum of agreement to purchase the M/V Maersk Noumea, an intermediate container ship of 34,677 dwt and 2,556 twenty-foot equivalent units (teu) built in 2001 in South Korea. The M/V Maersk Noumea was acquired for $43.5 million and comes with a period charter attached with a major container liner company at $16,800 per day until August 2011 with charterer’s options to extend the charter for three additional years at $18,735, $19,240 and $19,750 per day, respectively.
Following this acquisition, 100% of Euroseas’ total containership fleet days in 2008, and about 47% for 2009, are fixed under period charters. Overall, including the Company’s dry bulk fleet, about 92% of the total fleet days in 2008 and about 34% in 2009 are covered under period charters, already concluded spot charters, or otherwise protected from market fluctuations.
Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas, commented: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of our sixteenth vessel continuing our strategy to grow our fleet with accretive acquisitions. We note that whilst the charter rate may seem low compared to the current charter market it is reflective of the fact that the price paid is also significantly lower than the current charter free price. In addition, this acquisition and the period employment contract further strengthen our relationship with the world’s biggest container liner company.
“Our investment and employment strategy, thus far, has allowed us to pay growing dividends to our shareholders as evidenced by the dividend of $0.31 per share that we declared for the results of the first three months of 2008. This dividend represents a 3.3% increase over the dividend of the previous quarter and 29.2% increase over the dividend we declared for the same quarter last year. This dividend continues our policy of paying significant dividends which however represent only a fraction of our net income and free cash flow. Our focus remains to continue growing our fleet and providing superior risk-adjusted returns to our shareholders.”