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Frontline returns to profit on firm tanker market

Frontline returns to profit on firm tanker market
Frontline has returned to the black in the first half ended 30 June 2015 as freight rates in global tanker shipping market rose compared to year-ago levels, improving operating income.

Net profit in the first half was reported at $48.49m, a reversal from the loss of $90.32m in the same period of last year. The improved performance came as operating income turned black to $72.49m as against the operating loss of $59.97m a year ago.

The group’s first half revenue, however, dipped slightly by 3.4% year-on-year to $279.15m.

In looking at the tanker shipping rates, Frontline said that the average daily time-charter equivalent earned in the spot and period market in the first half by its VLCCs and suezmaxes were $50,000 and $33,400, respectively, compared with $23,400 and $19,800, respectively, in the previous corresponding period.

The spot earnings for its VLCCs and suzemaxes were $52,800 and $36,400, respectively, in the first half compared with $22,600 and $19,800, respectively, in the year-ago period.

In August, the company estimates average daily total cash cost breakeven rates for the remainder of 2015 on a time-charter equivalent basis for its VLCCs and suezmax tankers of approximately $24,500 and $21,000 respectively.

Earlier in June, Frontline and sister company Ship Finance International agreed to amend the long term charter parties relating to 17 vessels such that the fixed charter payments to Ship Finance are expected to decrease by approximately $283m.

And in July, the company and Frontline 2012 entered into an agreement and plan for a merger, bringing back together the two companies that were split at the end fo 2011.

“With a large modern fleet, a strong balance sheet and attractive cash breakeven rates, the combined companies should be well positioned to generate significant free cash in a strong market, and sustain a weak market,” Frontline said.

TAGS: Tankers