Green Reefers has reported that it experienced a pre-tax profit of US$500,000 for the first quarter of 2009, an improvement on the US$3.9m loss in the corresponding period last year.
The shipping group said that its earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) stood at US$8.2m, up from US$7.5m in 2008, while gross operating income fell to US$58.1m from US$65.2m last year.
Spot market rates dropped 14 per cent with income down 4 per cent on the previous year, with running costs falling slightly on a day-by-day basis.
"The current spot market rate level is not sufficient to cover vessels' running costs, and the company is continuously considering the laying up of vessels during the summer," the group's board of directors said in a statement. "The company is cutting costs and has, amongst other measures, implemented workforce reductions in the administration, which is expected to save up to US$2m on an annual basis."
The statement added that "considerable scrapping" of reefer vessels is expected as a result of the slow market, and that Green Reefers is anticipating "weak results" for 2009.