MMA is doing its best to stay afloat, despite having to sell off ships
The creditors have been held at bay — just — and the family jewels are being sold, but oil and gas ship supplier MMA Offshore is doing its best to stay afloat.
When the bilge plug was pulled on oil prices in 2014 — and therefore new exploration and production — the company began cruising into the red.
On Monday MMA Offshore (ASX:MRM) reported a full year after tax loss of $65.8 million. This was before an impairment charge of $312.2 million against its vessel, supply base and slipway business — three out of four of its business arms.
The company, based in Fremantle, supplies and maintains offshore oil rigs and is hoping it can wait out the drought until oil markets tighten again, possibly around 2020 according to the IEA.
“The offshore vessel market has been through one of the biggest downturns in living memory, however general market sentiment is that we are at the bottom of the cycle,” managing director Jeffrey Weber said in the results.
“It will take some time for the vessel market to come back to balance, however we are seeing early signs of increased activity at the front end of the value chain which should translate to increased vessel demand over time.”
The company has been selling its fleet and Dampier and Broome onshore bases to cut some of the $314 million in debt it owes lenders, including a consortium of Australian banks.
The supply bases were sold to Toll Holdings in March for $49.5 million.
And 13 vessels were sold in the last 14 months for $34 million, with another 10 earmarked for sale. That leaves MMA with a fleet of 30 ships.
But with a glut in the market for service providers, there’s not much demand — and the company booked a $15.5 million loss on its asset sales for the year.
Long term contracts with the likes of Woodside, ConocoPhillips and INPEX are keeping that fleet in use, although at an average utilisation rate of 52 per cent.
There is some good news though.
A deal with the Australian banking syndicate in February gave the company some breathing room and allowed it to pay an upfront $45 million and rest when the loan comes due in 2019, instead of an annual $75 million payment.
MMA also hired Deloitte this month to help it deal negotiate the debt load.