Bermuda-based tanker shipping company Nordic American Tankers (NAT) made a strong start to the year as it managed to return to profitability during the first quarter.
NAT posted a net profit of USD 5.6 million in Q1 2019, a substantial improvement when compared to a net loss USD 19.7 million seen in the corresponding period a year earlier.
The company’s net operating earnings improved to USD 18.3 million in Q1 2019 from a net loss of USD 11.1 million reported in Q1 2018.
The time charter equivalent (TCE) earnings for NAT vessels also saw an improvement in the first quarter of this year and amounted to USD 26,025 per day per ship, compared to USD 20,100 recorded in a quarter earlier.
During the first quarter, NAT refinanced its credit facility with a USD 306 million secured loan and registered a USD 40 million ATM.
“Together with our 3 vessels delivered and financed last year, we now have a financial structure in place for all of our 23 vessels with better flexibility and longer maturities than we had only a few months ago,” the company explained.
NAT’s fleet comprises 23 Suezmax tankers with an aggregate cargo capacity of 23 million barrels of crude oil. The average age of the company’s fleet is about 11 years.
With regards to the supply of tanker tonnage in the short-term, NAT believes it is inelastic. Short-term sport tanker rates may be expected to be volatile, according to the company.
“We expect to see volatility in the tanker market during 2019 due to refinery adjustments that must be made to meet the new fuel regulations that come into full effect from 2020. These adjustments will be positive for tanker demand and we expect 2019 to be a better year than 2018.”
“With the majority of our fleet in the spot market, NAT is well positioned for an improving tanker market in the coming years,” the company concluded.