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Marco Polo Marine posts S$6.6m Q1 loss before wrapping debt revamp

MARCO Polo Marine's offshore support vessel-focused businesses continued to bleed in the months leading to the completion of its debt restructuring.

For the three months ended Dec 31, the listed group slipped into the red with a net loss of S$6.64 million, reversing from a net profit of S$3.39 million for the corresponding quarter last year.

Loss per share was 1.97 Singapore cents compared to earnings per share of 1.01 Singapore cents.

Revenue was 34 per cent lower at S$7.46 million mainly on a 50 per cent reduction in contribution from its shipbuilding and repair operations.

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The group also attributed a lower gross margin of 29 per cent for the first quarter compared to 34 per cent for the year-ago period to lower-yielding projects contracted to its shipyard.

Not helping its bottom line is a S$3.9 million decline in other operating income to S$44,000 mainly on an unrealised foreign exchange gain posted for Q1 FY17.

Its ship chartering joint venture with Nam Cheong, BBR has likewise posted a loss of S$2 million compared to a profit of S$700,000 for Q1 FY17.

The group's equity stood at negative S$157.6 million as at Dec 31, 2017.

Chief executive Sean Lee qualified that the reported first-quarter results "did not fully reflect the outcome of the debt restructuring exercise … concluded on Jan 25, 2018". He added that for the next three months ending March 31, Marco Polo will see a reversal of its negative equity position.

Mr Lee acknowledged that the offshore and marine business will "remain challenging and competitive in the next 12 months", but with the debt restructuring now wrapped up at Marco Polo and its stock resuming trading, the management will be able to focus more on "marketing efforts" directed at improving the top-line performance.

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