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Algoma Central posts $31.1-million first-quarter loss

Algoma Central Corp. cited costs associated with an acquisition for a near doubling of the net loss the Great Lakes bulk shipping company suffered in the first quarter.

Algoma Central said the net loss in the three months ended March 31, 2012, was $31.1-million or $8 per share, compared with a loss of $17-million or $4.37 per share in the same 2011 period.

Revenue rose to $66.1-million from $57.2-million.

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"The increase in the loss was due primarily to the acquisition of the non-controlling interest in Seaway Marine Transport in April 2011," the company said in a release.

The loss was partially offset by a reduction in the mark-to-market loss recognizing the fair value of certain foreign forward exchange contracts, it added.

The April 2011 acquisition involved vessels and partnership interests owned by Upper Lakes Group. Algoma Central's first-quarter results last year reflected only a 59 per cent interest in the business and the losses incurred by the partnership.

Had the ULG Transaction occurred on Jan. 1, 2011, the Q1 2011 net loss would have increased by $15,405, or $3.96 per share, for a total quarterly loss equivalent to $8.33 per share, it said.

Algoma Central owns and operates the largest Canadian flag fleet of dry and liquid bulk carriers operating on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence waterway, including 19 self-unloading dry-bulk carriers, nine gearless dry bulk carriers and seven product tankers.

Algoma also has interests in ocean dry-bulk and product tanker vessels operating in international markets, as well as a diversified ship repair and steel fabricating facility active in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence. It also owns and manages commercial real estate properties in Sault Ste. Marie, St. Catharines and Waterloo, Ont.

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