This excerpt taken from the SB 6-K filed Jun 8, 2009.
The year 2008 marks a strategic milestone in the development of Safe Bulkers, Inc. On May 28, 2008, we completed a successful initial public offering involving the sale of 10 million shares of our common stock by our founders, representing approximately 18.4% of our common stock outstanding. Shares of our common stock commenced trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker SB the following day opening a new chapter in our history.
Although we are a young public company, we are not new to shipping as our management team carries the experience of our predecessor with a continuous presence in ship-owning and ship-management activities for more than forty years.
During our long history, we have experienced many cycles, and we are familiar with the volatility of the shipping markets. The present crisis, however is different and stems from a crisis in the financial markets. Financing is the backbone of the global economy, trade and shipping.
We have seen that governments around the world, especially the U.S. government, have stepped in very quickly in an attempt to address and resolve the problems. Shipping should directly benefit from the eventual recovery of the global economy.
However, we should always remain cautious. Right now it is unclear whether the oversupply of drybulk vessels will be offset by the increase in scrapping rates of older vessels and the cancellations and delays in new vessel construction.
In this environment, we have chosen to do what we know best: to manage our business closely, considering always the long term interests of our stockholders. Managements interests are aligned with our stockholders as our management beneficially owns approximately 81.6% of our common stock outstanding.
Vessel values throughout this crisis have decreased rapidly causing problems for many drybulk companies with respect to their debt covenants. We have recently entered amendments to our credit agreements with our lenders.
The financing of capital expenditure requirements for companies with contracted fleet growth has presented a particular challenge due to the credit crunch. We have managed to selectively terminate certain newbuilding agreements against a cancellation fee and have thereby reduced our expected capital expenditures.
Charter counter-party risk has generally increased affecting the revenues of many shipping companies. According to our chartering policy we have always sought to charter our vessels primarily to charterers who intended to use them directly instead of sub-chartering them to third parties, and we have expanded our established relationships with charterers who have maintained a long presence in the market. We have also agreed to the early termination of certain of our long-term time charters, in exchange for receiving compensation from the relevant charterers.
We will remain focused on the drybulk sector which we know best. Our strategy is to maintain a young and modern fleet of Panamax, Post Panamax and, upon their delivery, of Capesize vessels.
All of our vessels are built under our supervision and in accordance with specifications suitable for our charterers. They have similar operational characteristics and can thereby be operated more efficiently because our crews can be rotated among sister ships. Further, the young average age of our fleet permits additional efficiencies. As of May 15, 2009, the average age of our fleet was only 3.4 years.
Despite the difficult environment as the global economic crisis was unfolding towards the end of 2008, we generated $200.8 million in net revenues in 2008, an increase of 21% over 2007. Our net income or earnings per share, excluding gain on sale of assets, increased by 23% from $96.8 million, or $1.78 per share, for 2007 to $119.2 million, or $2.19 per share for 2008.
With these thoughts we are proud to present to you this 2008 Annual Report which provides detailed information about our business. Our management is focused on and fully committed to profitably growing our business in the future, while expanding our reputation as a reliable and cost-efficient international provider of drybulk transportation services.
I would like to thank all of our stockholders for their continued support and interest in our company.