Euronav Bounces Back to Profit, Selling Suezmax Quartet

Antwerp-based tanker owner and operator Euronav NV has returned to full-year profit, recording USD 350 mln in earnings, against USD 45 million loss from 2014.

For the fourth quarter the company recorded USD 104.8 million in profit, up from USD 3.9 million from the corresponding period in 2014.

 “2015 was a landmark year for Euronav with the company achieving a number of key objectives such as delivery of the most profitable year since 2008, full listing on the NYSE and the appointment of Carl Steen as an independent Chairman,” says Paddy Rodgers, CEO of Euronav.

“Euronav continues to experience robust and fundamental strength in the VLCC and Suezmax sectors. The first quarter of 2016 is not only substantially better than the first quarter of 2015 but it should also beat the fourth quarter of 2015 which was the best of the four quarters for that year. We believe the current market fundamentals are not reflected in our share price.”

Separately, the company has decided with a joint venture partner Bretta Tanker Holdings Inc. to sell their share in the joint venture companies formed for the purpose of ordering and owning four Suezmax tankers.

Euronav said that in February this year both partners decided to start marketing the four Suezmaxes Eugenie (2010 – 157,672 dwt), Devon (2011 – 157,642 dwt), Maria (2012 – 157,523 dwt), Captain Michael (2012 – 157,648 dwt) for a potential sale in 2016 in order to determine the fair value of each ship.

Euronav holds a right of last refusal and may choose to exercise such right should the best offered price for any of the vessels be considered by Euronav as attractive.

Outlook

In terms of vessel supply Euronav said that this always needs to be considered in the context of the anticipated demand for oil.

“In the context of robust oil demand (IEA forecast 1.2 mbpd growth for 2016) and with potential for further demand stimulation from a low oil price, we believe that the supply of VLCCs and Suezmaxes is a manageable prospect for the tanker sector. At the same time, capital markets delevering and a structural restriction of availability of financing for tankers have substantially reduced the rate of large tanker ordering in the past six months.”

As a result, along with a sustained positive ton-mile expansion and the likelihood of persistently high global oil production, the company expects a positive outlook for large tanker markets through 2016 and beyond.

So far in the first quarter of 2016 the Euronav VLCC fleet operated in the Tankers International Pool has earned about USD 62,275 per day and 92% of the available days have been fixed, the company’s results show. Euronav’s Suezmaxes trading on the spot market have earned about USD 37,500 per day on average with 99% of the available days fixed for the first quarter.

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