GulfMark Offshore, Houston, posted a second-quarter net loss of $14.3 million or 57 cents per diluted share, in line with analysts expectations. Consolidated revenue for the second quarter was $30.5 million, down from $38.8 million in the previous quarter. The company said revenue fell due to a 16% decrease in the average day rate to $10,939 from $12,982 in the previous quarter. This was offset somewhat by an increase in utilization to 41% from 38% in the first quarter.

GulfMark said that the North Sea and Southeast regions are beginning to show some signs of day rate improvement. In the North Sea, average day rates in the spot market increased to an amount that was above operating cash costs for most of the quarter. The company said this is a result of vessel owners withholding supply rather than an increase in demand. Southeast Asia showed the most improvement over the first quarter. The region posted a strong increase in both utilization and the average day rate.

The U.S. Gulf, however, is still facing significant headwinds. It has been the “hardest hit region this downturn and it continues to struggle,” Quintin Kneen, GulfMark’s president and CEO, said during the company’s earnings call yesterday. “It posted both lower utilization and lower average day rates as compared to the first quarter. The region is oversupplied with tonnage including premium tonnage and continues to see an overall reduction in vessel demand driven by lower drilling activity and increased operator efficiency.”

Kneen said that the company is continuing to look for ways to liquidate older and underutilized tonnage, reduce labor costs, manage capital expenditure commitments, and achieve greater economies of scale from its general and administrative spending. “As we have done each quarter of the downturn I'm confident in our continued ability to respond quickly to changing market conditions and to maintain adequate liquidity.”

David Krapf has been editor of WorkBoat, the nation’s leading trade magazine for the inland and coastal waterways industry, since 1999. He is responsible for overseeing the editorial direction of the publication. Krapf has been in the publishing industry since 1987, beginning as a reporter and editor with daily and weekly newspapers in the Houston area. He also was the editor of a transportation industry daily in New Orleans before joining WorkBoat as a contributing editor in 1992. He has been covering the transportation industry since 1989, and has a degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Oswego, and also studied journalism at the University of Houston.