Great Lakes bulker operator reports increased net

NOVEMBER 5, 2015 — Great Lakes bulker operator Rand Logistics, Inc. (NASDAQ:RLOG) reported results for second quarter ended September 30, 2015 that included an increase in net income to $11.5 million, or $0.58 per share on a fully diluted basis, from $5.5 million, or $0.29 per share, in the prior year period.

Before a tax benefit of approximately $0.22, net income per share increased to $0.36 on a fully diluted basis or 12.5% over the prior year period.

"The 2015 sailing season has remained consistent with our initial outlook," commented Ed Levy, President and CEO of Rand. "We continue to focus our efforts on the factors of our business that we can control. We have experienced continued improvement in the key operating and financial metrics that drive our business, including lower vessel delays and days out of service, combined with improvements in tons hauled, freight and related revenue, and vessel margin per day. The year to date financial impact of these improvements has been masked by a 14% decline in the value of the Canadian dollar versus the U.S. dollar compared to last sailing season."

Through its subsidiaries, Rand Logistics operates a fleet of four conventional bulk carriers and twelve self-unloading bulk carriers including three tug/barge units. The company is the only carrier able to offer significant domestic port-to-port services in both Canada and the U.S. on the Great Lakes. Its vessels operate under the U.S. Jones Act – which reserves domestic waterborne commerce to vessels that are U.S. owned, built and crewed, – and the Canada Coasting Trade Act – which reserves domestic waterborne commerce to Canadian registered and crewed vessels that operate between Canadian ports.

Freight and other related revenue from company operated vessels (which excludes fuel and other surcharges) decreased $2.3 million, or 4.9%, to $43.8 million during the three-month period compared to $46.1 million in the year ago period. On a constant currency basis, freight and other related revenue increased 4.0%, or $1.9 million.

Total Sailing Days were 1,278 compared to 1,351 in the prior year. The 73-day decline in sailing days was due to 92 lost days attributable to the company's time chartered bulk carriers. Although these vessels did not operate for the entire quarter, Rand continued to receive daily charter payments at a reduced rate. These lost days were partially offset by a 19 day reduction in days out of service.

Delay Days decreased to 68 from 72. Delay Days as a percentage of total Sailing Days remained relatively constant year over year.

Freight and related revenue per Sailing Day increased $176, or 0.5%, to $34,300 compared to $34,124 per Sailing Day in the year ago period. On a constant currency basis, freight and related revenue per Sailing Day increased 10.0%, or $3,409.Vessel operating expenses decreased $3.6 million, or 10.7%, to $30.0 million compared to $33.6 million during the year ago period. Vessel operating expenses per Sailing Day decreased $1,381, or 5.6%, to $23,498 from $24,879 during the year ago period. On a constant currency basis, vessel operating expenses per Sailing Day decreased 0.9%, or $0.3 million.

Adjusted EBITDA decreased $1.3 million, or 7.3%, to $16.1 million from $17.4 million during the year ago period. On a constant currency basis, Adjusted EBITDA increased 2.0%, or $0.3 million.

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