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Tanker owner NAT reports bumper profits, record cash flow

Tanker owner NAT reports bumper profits, record cash flow
Nordic American Tankers (NAT) has reported profits of $114.6m in 2015, together with operating cash flow up 16% year-on-year to $212m, the strongest result in the company’s 12-year history.  

The results reverse a $15.7m loss for  2014, and follow a near-doubling of charter revenues to $287m from the previous year’s $151.6m.

Tanker rates achieved on average in Q4 2015 were about $39,800 per vessel per day, compared to a cash-breakeven of below $12,000 per vessel per day, the company said in a statement. That low breakeven figure stemmed from low operating costs thanks to NAT's fleet of 26 suezmax vessels (plus two under construction) plus net debt per vessel of $8.8m, it added.

In its market outlook, NAT pointed out that, “Seaborne imports of crude oil into the US have decreased over the recent past. Going forward, shale oil and oil sand projects are expected to affect the US and Canadian oil sector. Some of these projects are vulnerable to reduced oil prices as we see at the time of this report".

However, “in terms of transportation work (ton miles), the reduced imports to the US are more than outweighed by the increased imports to the Far East,” it added. "European crude imports have recently shown a rising trend. A low oil price is stimulating the world economy which is positive for the tanker market.”