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First Ship Lease Trust posts 10.9% fall in Q2 profit

A CHALLENGING shipping environment and reduced fleet size has seen First Ship Lease (FSL) Trust's net profit fall to US$5.49 million for the second quarter, down 10.9 per cent from US$6.16 million a year ago.

Revenue for the three months to June 30 fell to US$25.3 million, down 7.9 per cent from US$27.5 million previously.

The drop in revenue was due mainly to a reduced fleet following the disposal of two panamax containerships in February this year, as well as softening rates in some tanker markets, FSL said in a Singapore Exchange filing on Thursday.

Income available for distribution contracted 26.2 per cent to US$4.41 million; no distribution has been recommended and the trust will continue to retain all of those profits, as was the case a year-ago.

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FSL Trust Management chief executive Alan Hatton noted that market conditions are "likely to remain difficult" in the near term.

"The trust's diverse and strong mix of secure long-term charters and managed market exposure in better performing sectors leaves the trust well positioned despite the challenging shipping market," Mr Hatton said in a statement.

The trust's units closed unchanged at S$0.18 on Thursday.