The Board of Directors of EXMAR has approved the accounts for the period ending 30 June 2019.
The operating result (EBIT) in the first half of 2019 was USD 48.5 million (as compared to USD 43.3 million for the same period in 2018). This EBIT figure includes a capital gain of USD 19.3 million on the sale of EXMAR’s 50% shares in RESLEA (real estate) and an impairment of USD 2.2 million. The standby revenues generated by TANGO FLNG since May 2019 will only be recognised in P&L as from start of operations in September 2019 (in accordance with IFRS 15).
After a slow start of the year, earnings for the Very Large Gas Carriers (VLGC) have been forcefully increasing. The upturn was at large inspired by record LPG exports out of the US thanks to more shale gas production and terminal expansions. Combined with global vessel availability falling and healthy demand in Asia, LPG freight rates have been oscillating between 1 and 2 million USD/month. Such buoyant market conditions support the smaller Fully Refrigerated gas markets like the Midsize Gas Carriers (MGC) markets.
Currently, EXMAR controls one chartered vessel in this segment, the 83,300 m³ BW TOKYO that is chartered to Trafigura until the fourth quarter of 2019. The hire is determined by a mix of fixed freight elements as well as a straight link to the Baltic Gas Index. EXMAR has two newbuild 88,000 m³ VLGCs on order at Jiangnan Shipyard (China) which will use LPG as a fuel marking a new era for the Company and the industry. Both vessels are committed to a long-term charter with Equinor after delivery in 2021.
The EXMAR Midsize Gas Carrier (MGC) fleet is prepared for the upcoming IMO 2020 Bunker regulations thanks to its completed newbuild programme, fuel-efficient vessels and a relatively high cargo volume capacity, with a mix of the latest scrubber technologies and other innovations. This will minimise the impact of the new legislation and maintain competitiveness. The MGC fleet coverage for the remainder of 2019 is over 90% with substantial coverage already signed up for 2020 at rates in line with improved Fully Refrigerated market conditions.
EXMAR’s Pressurized fleet is well-positioned in the markets on both sides of Suez, with high coverage levels secured for the remainder of 2019. Strong activity in both LPG and easy petrochemicals ascertain further strong demand for Pressurized vessels, especially when order books for such units are almost non-existent.
The operating result (EBIT) for the first half of 2019 was USD -7.4 million (compared to USD 23.8 million for the first half of 2018 including USD 30.9 million capital gain on the sale of FSRU EXCELSIOR)
EXMAR currently owns one LNG gas carrier and is limited in exposure to recent market movements. EXCALIBUR remains on a long-term time charter contract beyond 2022 with Excelerate Energy.
The commissioning of the liquefaction barge TANGO FLNG was completed successfully in June 2019 and the unit has been accepted for operations by our customer YPF. This has triggered monthly standby revenues, while preparing effective startup and operations after Argentinian winter period as from September onwards. The liquefaction barge has become world’s third FLNG to enter into operation.
Floating Regasification: EXMAR continues serving its commitment to GUNVOR with its floating regasification barge S188. The finance documentation for the sale and leaseback of the barge by CSSC shipping for an agreed amount of USD 155 million has been finalized and signed at the end of August. A first tranche of approximately USD 78.0 million will be drawn upon fulfilment of the conditions precedent under the lease agreement (including security documents requiring charterers’ signature), which is expected in the course of September. A second tranche of USD 31.0 million will be made available upon start of the regasification operations at a location. The financing under the sale and leaseback has a duration of 10 years at an interest rate of LIBOR + 3.80% with various re-purchase options available throughout the 10 years period and a purchase obligation at year 10. The difference between the purchase price of the unit and the drawn amount is considered as a seller’s credit.
The operating result (EBIT) for the first half of 2019 was USD 1.0 million (compared to USD -2.0 million in the first half of 2018). NUNCE remains under contract to Sonangol P&P, offshore Angola since July 2009. WARIBOKO was redelivered from Total E&P in July 2019. The barge remains in Nigeria where it has been under contract since September 2012. Discussions for reemployment as from February 2020 are progressing well. EXMAR’s office in Houston, Texas, US has registered high engineering utilization levels in the first semester, dedicated to detailed engineering work and site supervision on the construction of a third OPTI®-hull design based production semisubmersible.
SUPPORTING SERVICES and HOLDING
The contribution of the Services activities (EXMAR Ship Management and Travel PLUS) to the operating result (EBIT) for the first half of 2019 was USD 1.1 million (compared to USD 1.4 million in 2018 for the same period). The contribution of the Holding activities to the operating result (EBIT) for the first half 2019 was USD 17.3 million, including a capital gain of USD 19.3 million on the sale of RESLEA (compared to USD -3.5 million in the first semester 2018). EXMAR Ship Management has further diversified its fleet under management, which now totals 64 assets. In the second quarter, EXMAR fully repaid the outstanding senior unsecured bond. This repayment was financed partially with the new, unsecured 650 million NOK (approximately USD 75.0 million) bond issued by EXMAR on 16 May 2019, with final maturity in May 2022 (EXMAR02), and partially with available resources. End of June, EXMAR signed an agreement with Compagnie Maritime Belge (“CMB”) for the sale of 50% of its shares in RESLEA, owner of the office buildings in Antwerp. EXMAR realized a capital gain of USD 19.3 million on this transaction.
UPDATE ON LIQUIDITY POSITION
The condensed consolidated financial statements for the period ended 30 June 2019 have been prepared on a going concern basis. In making this assessment, the Board of Directors assumed that the following management measures be timely and successfully completed to provide sufficient liquidity for the Company: – Further to the successful performance acceptance tests of the TANGO FLNG on 5 June 2019, EXMAR meets all conditions for the partial release of the debt service reserve account in respect of the USD 200 million loan with Bank of China and Deutsche Bank (USD 40 million in a first phase). This release is subject to the approval of SINOSURE, the latter taking more time than previously communicated. The release is expected to occur in the course of the fourth quarter of 2019. – The finance documentation for the sale and leaseback of the FSRU barge by CSSC shipping for an agreed amount of USD 155 million has been finalized and signed at the end of August. A first tranche of approximately USD 78.0 million will be drawn upon fulfilment of the conditions precedent under the lease agreement (including security documents requiring charterer’s signature), which is expected in the course of September. A second tranche of USD 31.0 million will be made available upon start of the regasification operations at a location. Pending the settlement of both above mentioned credit files; EXMAR closed bridge loans in the amount of USD 30.0 million to temporarily increase its liquidity. The final maturity date of the bridge loan is the earlier of the final drawdown on the CSSC facility, the release of the debt service reserve account or 30 September 2019.
The Company has met all its financial covenants as at 30 June 2019 and the next testing date with respect to the financial position as at the end of December 2019 is in March 2020. EXMAR believes that based on forecasts for the remaining of the year, all covenants will be met as per December 2019. The interest coverage ratio has limited headroom. TANGO FLNG will start production as of September 2019; this will positively influence the interest coverage ratio. EXMAR is continuously monitoring compliance with all applicable covenants. If a breach of covenants would occur, the Company will request and believes it will be able to obtain a waiver from the relevant lenders. The Board is confident that management will be able to timely and successfully implement these plans and therefore it has an appropriate basis for the use of the going concern assumption. In the event the above assumptions are not timely met, there is a material uncertainty whether the Company will have sufficient liquidities to fulfil its obligations for a period of at least 12 months from the date of these condensed consolidated interim financial statements.