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Higher finance costs squeeze stronger Nakilat revenues

Nakilat Q-Max LNG carrier Al Mafyar
Qatari LNG shipping company Nakiliat reported a 3.6% increase in profit for the first quarter 2023 to QAR396m ($109m).

Nakilat said the profit was driven by increased revenues, up 5.3% to QAR1.12bn, which was mainly due to better results at joint ventures and higher interest income. The stronger revenues were offset by a 6.2% increase in costs to QAR724m, mostly due to higher finance charges, which rose by 18.6% as variable interest rates spiked on unhedged portion of debts.

Nakilat CEO, Eng. Abdullah Al-Sulaiti said: " Despite the ongoing challenges facing the global economy and market volatility owing to high interest and inflation rates, we have remained resilient and achieved stable financial results, with an increase in net profit by 3.6%. In line with our purpose, vision and strategy, we will continue to pursue sustainable growth, seize business opportunities and maintain our position as one of the world’s leading players in the global LNG shipping industry."

The company’s performance was underpinned by robust market demand for LNG shipping services, said Nakilat, along with its operational efficiency focus and effective cost management.

LNG shipping rates across spot and 3-6 month charter fell off from their seasonal Q4 highs.

Rates for one year time charters have also fallen off since Q4 2022 but remain significantly higher than in Q1 2022 across all vessel types.