Sovcomflot, the Russian crude, product, and LNG tanker owner, says it expects a strong 2015 result after a 67% increase in year-on-year net profit in 1Q15.
Group net profit reached USD97 million in 1Q15 compared with USD58.1 million in the same period last year. Revenues rose to USD359 million from USD365.1 million, the company said in a statement.
“Sovcomflot has made a very encouraging start to 2015, following five years of recession within the global tanker market. A strong performance from the crude and product tanker freight markets has built upon underlying profits generated from our increasing fixed income gas and offshore fleets,” said Sergey Frank, group CEO.
“Timely fleet exposure to the oil product and crude spot markets, as well as maintaining our critical size to capture the volatility in those markets, has resulted in a significant rise in profits during the 1Q15,” he added. Sovcomflot’s EBITDA rose to USD178.5 million in 1Q15 from USD153.6 million in the same period last year.
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“Our robust strategy of providing new technically advanced vessels for long-term fixed income employment continues to deliver a profitable and sustainable income stream, which will underpin an enhanced performance for our business going forward,” Frank continued.
“Based upon the very positive outlook for crude and oil products transportation going into 2Q15, the Group can expect a significant uplift in its performance in 2015 compared with the previous year,” he said.
In the crude oil transport business, timecharter earnings (TCE) increased by 1.6% to USD136.9 million, while oil products significantly benefitted from the improved freight market environment. TCE revenues increased by 21.5% to USD64.5 million. In gas transport, TCE revenues increased 44.5% to USD28.9 million.
During the quarter the group took delivery of SCF Melampus, the third in a series of advanced design Atlanticmax LNG carriers, built under a partnership agreement with STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. The vessel has an Ice2 ice class rating and a 170,200 m³ cargo capacity, and is employed on a long-term time charter to Shell.
At the end of 1Q15, the group had nine vessels under construction for delivery up to March 2017, comprising two LNG carriers – one of which is a highly advanced design ‘Yamalmax’ Arc7 ice breaking vessel, 172,600 m³ capacity – four ice breaking supply/support vessels and three ice class shuttle tankers. “All of these vessels, once delivered, will operate on long-term time charter arrangements to ‘blue chip’ energy companies and upstream energy projects pursued by international consortia,” the company said.
As of 31 March 2015, Sovcomflot’s fleet (including vessels owned, chartered-in, and in joint ownership with third parties) comprised 153 vessels with a combined deadweight of 12.78 million tonnes.