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Scorpio Tankers ends 2013 in black on VLGC deal

Scorpio Tankers ends 2013 in black on VLGC deal
Scorpio Tankers made a $17m profit in 2013, improving on 2012's $26.5m loss.

The company earned $5.8m in the fourth quarter, up from a new loss of $4.9m in the same period the previous year.

Time charter equivalent earnings in the fourth quarter 2013 were $52.3m, jumping from $28.3m in 2012 as the average number of vessels owned and chartered-in reached 42.7, double Q4 2012's average of 23.8.

Scorpio's average owned fleet size grew by seven year-on-year from 12 in 2012 to 19 in 2013.

The company rounded off the year with a busy quarter that included the signing of contracts for 11 newbuilds, and an investment of 11 VLGC newbuilds and $1.9m in Dorian LPG. Scorpio booked a gain on sale in Q4 of $41.4m for the deal

Since the end of 2013 Scorpio has sold three vessels with a total value of $74.2m, with the sales expected to close in March and April 2014 at which point repayments of $44.4m will be made on debt related to the ships.

As of 24 February 2014 the company has $358.1m in debt and 63 newbuilds on order, with $2.1bn in installments to be paid before Q3 2016, including $1.3bn to be paid in 2014.

Emanuele Lauro, ceo and chairman of the board commented, "Although our fourth quarter 2013 results reflect the deleterious effects of prolonged turnarounds of existing refineries and delays of commissioning the new refining assets, we remain confident in the underlying demand and supply thesis. Already in the first quarter, all of our vessel classes are experiencing higher returns than they did in the final quarter of 2013. We expect to be profitable this quarter.

"As for the remainder of 2014, both new emissions regulations and customer preferences will leave us very well-positioned. By the end of the year, we will have a modern fuel-efficient fleet, which has significant commercial and technical benefits. Even though we expect the overall product market to continue to improve, we also expect there to be a bifurcation of returns between modern fuel-efficient and older vessels."