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NAT profits edge up in first quarter

NAT profits edge up in first quarter
Nordic American Tankers (NAT) booked profits of $29.3m in the first quarter of 2016, compared with $27.7m in the same period last year.

The result comes on the back of a marginal improvement in revenue, to $33.5m from $31.0m in Q1 2015, thanks to spot rates of around $36,000 per day.

NAT reported an operating cash flow of $55.9m in Q1, compared with the $51.0m booked in Q1 of 2015, which proceeded to become NAT’S strongest year in history with a full-year cash flow of $212m. NAT further went on to predict “a positive phase of development” in Q2 2016.

The company held over around $17.5m of operating cash flow during Q1 2016 to finance future commitments, including the two suezmax newbuilds due for delivery in 3Q2016 and 1Q2017.

NAT defended its recent decision to buy four vessels of between 12 and 16 years old, arguing: “Shipbuilding technology for crude oil tankers has not changed much over the last 20 years, so whether a ship has been around five years or fifteen years or longer does not matter anywhere near as much as the quality of the ship itself.”

“NAT has one type of vessel – the Suezmax vessel - that can carry 1m barrels of oil. A homogenous fleet reduces our operating costs, which helps to keep our cash-breakeven below $12,000 per day per vessel,” the company explained in its quarterly report. “Our vessels remain first-class, and these four additional tankers only enhance our fleet's reputation for safety and dependability.”