Algoma Central Corporation Reports Financial Results for the 2024 First Quarter

Robust performance in product tankers and ocean self-unloader fleets drive strongest first quarter in five years

 

St. Catharines, Ontario May 1, 2024 – Algoma Central Corporation (TSX: ALC) (“Algoma”, the “Company”) today reported its results for the three months ended March 31, 2024. Algoma reported revenues of $109,214, a 2% decrease compared to the same period in 2023. Net loss for 2024 was $17,253 compared to a net loss of $19,640 for the same period in 2023. Prior year first quarter results included a $3,481 after-tax gain from the sale of two vessels in the Product Tankers segment. Excluding this gain, the 2024 first quarter loss was 25% lower than the prior year. Due to the closing of the canal system and the winter weather conditions on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway, the majority of the Domestic Dry-Bulk fleet does not operate for most of the first quarter. All amounts reported below are in thousands of Canadian dollars, except for per share data and where the context dictates otherwise.

 

“Algoma’s first quarter results surpassed the past five years,” said Gregg Ruhl, President and CEO of Algoma Central Corporation. “The Ocean Self-Unloaders segment achieved its strongest first quarter yet, while the Product Tankers segment continued its strong earnings trend after a year of transition and growth. Our joint ventures also made solid contributions, and we anticipate further earnings growth with the introduction of three more newbuild product tankers into our FureBear joint venture later this year. As the 2024 navigation season progresses, the Algoma Bear, our newest Equinox Class self-unloader, is scheduled to commence regular operations in the domestic dry-bulk fleet in May, marking another milestone for us on the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway as we also set sail on our 125th anniversary year.”

 

Financial Highlights: First Quarter 2024 Compared to First Quarter 2023

 

  • Net loss decreased 12% to $17,253 compared to $19,640 in 2023. Basic and diluted loss per share were $44 compared to $0.51. Results for 2023 included a $3,481 after-tax gain on the sale of two vessels in the Product Tankers segment.
  • EBITDA for the first three months of $(861) is near break-even and the best first quarter EBITDA performance ever for the Company.
  • Revenue for Product Tankers increased 6% to $34,046 compared to $32,081 in 2023, driven primarily by a 3% increase in revenue days, largely due to having seven vessels operating at full capacity, coupled with higher freight rates on new vessels. Segment operating earnings increased $2,832 to $3,976.
  • Although Ocean Self-Unloaders segment revenue decreased 3% to $43,199 compared to $44,385, operating earnings increased 69% to $8,354 compared to $4,952 in 2023, primarily due to the reduced numbers of vessels on dry-dock this quarter.
  • Domestic Dry-Bulk segment revenue decreased 10% to $31,075 compared to $34,499 in 2023, reflecting a 6% decrease in revenue days. Operating loss increased 6% to $35,613 compared to $33,643 in 2023.
  • Global Short Sea Shipping segment equity earnings were $1,832 compared to $1,998 for the prior year. Earnings were impacted by lower rates for the mini-bulker and handy-size fleets and higher off-hire time due to dry-dockings in the handy-size fleet. The decrease was largely offset by increased earnings in the cement fleet.

 

Consolidated Statement of Earnings

For the three months ended March 31 2024 2023
Revenue $109,214  $111,604
Operating expenses (108,998) (117,560)
Selling, general and administrative expenses (11,641) (10,387)
Depreciation and amortization (17,128) (15,996)
Operating loss (28,553) (32,339)
Interest expense (4,659) (5,125)
Interest income 908  965
Gain on sale of assets 364  4,736
Foreign exchange gain 123  370
(31,817) (31,393)
Income tax recovery 11,013  9,464
Net earnings from investments in joint ventures 3,551  2,289
Net loss $ (17,253) $ (19,640)
Basic loss per share $ (0.44) $ (0.51)
Diluted loss per share $ (0.44) $ (0.51)

EBITDA

 

The Company uses EBITDA as a measure of the cash generating capacity of its businesses. The following table provides a reconciliation of net loss in accordance with GAAP to the non-GAAP EBITDA measure for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023 and presented herein:

 

EBITDA(1)
For the three months ended March 31 2024 2023
Net loss $ (17,253) $ (19,640)
Depreciation and amortization 22,333  20,947
Interest and tax recovery (5,530) (4,057)
Foreign exchange loss (gain) (63) (353)
Net gain on sale of assets (348) (4,736)
EBITDA(1) $ (861) $ (7,839)

 

Select Financial Performance by Business Segment

For the years ended March 31 2024 2023
Domestic Dry-Bulk
Revenue $ 31,075  $ 34,499
Operating loss (35,613) (33,643)
Product Tankers
Revenue 34,046  32,081
Operating earnings 3,976  1,144
Ocean Self-Unloaders
Revenue 43,199  44,385
Operating earnings 8,354  4,952
Corporate and Other
Revenue 894  639
Operating loss (5,270) (4,792)

 

The MD&A for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023 includes further details. Full results for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023 can be found on the Company’s website at www.algonet.com/investor-relations and on SEDAR at www.sedarplus.ca.

 

2024 Business Outlook(2)

 

In the Domestic Dry-Bulk segment, we expect a softening in demand for domestic dry-bulk capacity with de-icing salt volumes dropping more than anticipated due to the record mild winter across the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence region. Weaker markets for export iron ore and construction raw materials are also expected to reduce cargo volume. Consequently, Algoma has adjusted the expected sailing dates for some of its less efficient vessels to align with market demand. There are positive indicators that domestic iron ore volume will increase and grain shipments are expected to hold relatively steady with improved soil moisture levels creating potential for a large 2024 grain crop.

 

In the Product Tanker segment, we anticipate customer demand to remain steady in 2024 and for fuel distribution patterns within Canada to support strong vessel utilization for the vessels trading under Canadian flag throughout the year. With delivery of our first FureBear tanker having occurred in February, nine additional new tankers are being constructed at China Merchants Jinling Shipyard in Yangzhou, China, with delivery expected between mid 2024 and late 2026, including three in 2024.

 

Internationally, in the Ocean Self-Unloaders segment, volumes are expected to improve modestly for the remainder of the year and vessel utilization is expected to improve in 2024 with substantially fewer dry-dockings compared to 2023. Two out of the three newbuild kamsarmax-based ocean self-unloader orders are scheduled to begin construction this year. In our Global Short Sea Shipping segment, we expect consistent earnings from the cement fleet with the assets largely employed on longer-term time charter contracts. The handy-size and mini-bulker fleets in this segment are likely to continue to face rate pressures due to ongoing global economic and geopolitical situations, with rates softening since the latter half of 2023. Despite the lower rates, we do not anticipate any adverse effects on volumes and utilization.

 

Normal Course Issuer Bid

 

Effective March 21, 2024, the Company renewed its normal course issuer bid (the “NCIB”) with the intention to purchase, through the facilities of the TSX, up to 1,975,857 of its Common Shares (“Shares”) representing approximately 5% of the 39,517,144 Shares which were issued and outstanding as at the close of business on March 7, 2024.

 

Cash Dividends

 

The Company’s Board of Directors authorized payment of a quarterly dividend to shareholders of $0.19 per common share. The dividend will be paid on June 3, 2024 to shareholders of record on May 17, 2024. Following this dividend we expect an adjustment to the conversion price of the convertible debentures, reducing it to $14.10.

 

Notes

 

(1) Use of Non-GAAP Measures

 

The Company uses several financial measures to assess its performance including earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA), free cash flow, return on equity, and adjusted performance measures. Some of these measures are not calculated in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), which are based on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB), are not defined by GAAP, and do not have standardized meanings that would ensure consistency and comparability among companies using these measures. From Management’s perspective, these non-GAAP measures are useful measures of performance as they provide readers with a better understanding of how management assesses performance. Further information on Non-GAAP measures please refer to page 2 in the Company’s Management’s Discussion and Analysis for the three months ended March 31, 2024 and 2023.

 

(2) Forward Looking Statements

Algoma Central Corporation’s public communications often include written or oral forward-looking statements.  Statements of this type are included in this document and may be included in other filings with Canadian securities regulators or in other communications.  All such statements are made pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of any applicable Canadian securities legislation.  Forward-looking statements may involve, but are not limited to, comments with respect to our objectives and priorities for 2024 and beyond, our strategies or future actions, our targets, expectations for our financial condition or share price and the results of or outlook for our operations or for the Canadian, U.S. and global economies.  The words “may”, “will”, “would”, “should”, “could”, “expects”, “plans”, “intends”, “trends”, “indications”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “estimates”, “predicts”, “likely” or “potential” or the negative or other variations of these words or other comparable words or phrases, are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

 

By their nature, forward-looking statements require us to make assumptions and are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties.  There is significant risk that predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections will not prove to be accurate, that our assumptions may not be correct and that actual results may differ materially from such predictions, forecasts, conclusions or projections.  We caution readers of this document not to place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements as a number of factors could cause actual future results, conditions, actions or events to differ materially from the targets, expectations, estimates or intentions expressed in the forward-looking statements.

 

Algoma Central Corporation is a global provider of marine transportation that owns and operates dry and liquid bulk carriers, serving markets throughout the Great Lakes – St. Lawrence Seaway and internationally. Algoma is aiming to reach a carbon emissions reduction target of 40% by 2030 and net zero by 2050 across all business units with fuel efficient vessels, innovative technology, and alternate fuels. Algoma truly is Your Marine Carrier of Choice™. Learn more at algonet.com.

 

Contacts
Gregg A. Ruhl
Algoma Central Corporation
President & CEO
905-687-7890

Peter D. Winkley, CPA, CA
Algoma Central Corporation
EVP & Chief Financial Officer
905-687-7897

Relevant Articles

Media

Navigating a Greener Future: Algoma Central Corporation is Successful in Five Grant Funding Applications from Transport Canada’s Green Shipping Corridor Program (GSCP)

As Canada increasingly focuses on sustainable practices, the maritime sector

July 16, 2024

Media

Algoma’s 2023 Biofuel Trials

Marine transportation, representing only 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions

May 24, 2024

News

Algoma Central Corporation Announces Convertible Debenture Conversion Price

St. Catharines, Ontario, May 23, 2024 – Algoma Central Corporation

May 23, 2024

STAY CONNECTED

Get the latest business news and updates:

Get the latest business news and updates: