Odfjell Shrinks Loss as Chemical Tanker Market Improves

OdfjellImage Courtesy: Odfjell

Norwegian shipping and tank terminal company Odfjell has narrowed its quarterly loss, driven by improvement in chemical tanker spot rates.

The company reported a net loss of USD 15.4 million in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a net loss of USD 47.6 million posted in the fourth quarter of 2018.

EBITDA was USD 47.2 million in Q1 2019, compared to USD 32.7 million recorded in the previous quarter.

Odfjell Tankers’ EBITDA rose to USD 39.7 million in the three-month period ended March 31, 2019, from USD 27 million in the fourth quarter last year.

As informed, the stronger result was driven by stronger spot rates on main tradelanes and lower bunker costs. This countered lower volumes and fewer revenue days compared to the previous quarter.

“The chemical tanker markets improved in the first quarter. We expect this trend to continue as a result of the strong fundamentals in our markets and a firming tanker market in general,” Kristian Mørch, CEO of Odfjell SE, commented.

“We decided not to aggressively pursue or extend contracts at the historically low markets at the end of 2018. This reduces our COA portfolio, but also increases our exposure in the firming market. We expect to continue improving our performance in the coming quarter,” he added.

During the quarter, Odfjell sold and redelivered four vessels. The company took delivery of one super-segregator on long-term time charter. It also renegotiated several time charter agreements at more favorable terms.

What is more, Odfjell Terminals’ EBITDA increased to USD 6.7 million in Q1 2019 from USD 4.8 million seen in Q4 2018.

As explained, the main changes in results compared to Q4 2018 were due to USD 2 mill of legal and tax restructuring expenses as well as IT unwinding expenses in the previous quarter.

Following the sale of Odfjell Terminals Rotterdam (OTR), Odfjell Terminals will close its headquarters in Rotterdam in June 2019, the company informed. Odfjell Terminals will be controlled from Odfjell’s headquarters in Bergen, and this is expected to result in reduced costs for the company.

As a consequence, Frank Erkelens will step down as CEO for Odfjell Terminals during 2019 and a new global head of terminals will be relocated to Odfjell’s headquarter in Bergen, Odfjell revealed.

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