Flex LNG announced its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2021.
• All time high revenues of $114.6 million for the fourth quarter 2021, compared to $81.8 million for the third quarter 2021.
• All time high net income of $69.4 million and basic earnings per share of $1.31 for the fourth quarter 2021, compared to net income of $32.8 million and basic earnings per share of $0.62 for the third quarter 2021.
• Average Time Charter Equivalent1 (“TCE”) rate of $95,908 per day for the fourth quarter 2021, compared to $68,341 per day for the third quarter 2021.
• All time high adjusted EBITDA1 of $95.5 million for the fourth quarter 2021, compared to $64.5 million for the third quarter 2021.
• All time high adjusted net income1 of $62.8 million for the fourth quarter 2021, compared to $32.0 million for the third quarter 2021.
• All time high adjusted basic and diluted earnings per share1 of $1.18 for the fourth quarter 2021, compared to $0.60 for the third quarter 2021.
• The Company has now secured attractive long-term time charters with a mixed portfolio of market rate, spot and fixed rate contracts. At the date of this report, our fleet has an aggregate of 32 years firm periods and with charterer’s options this could extend to over 65 years, if declared.
• In December 2021, the Company completed the refinancing of the Flex Volunteer, resulting in net proceeds to the Company of $37.7 million contributing to our all time high cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash balance of $201.2 million.
• In February 2022, the Company received credit approved term sheets for a $375 million term and revolving credit facility, with an option for an $125 million accordion for an additional vessel, increasing this to $500 million. The facility will be used for the refinancing of existing facilities for the vessels Flex Endeavour, Flex Ranger and Flex Rainbow, while Flex Enterprise is a candidate for the accordion option. Completion of the refinancing is subject to final documentation and customary closing conditions.
• In February 2022, the Company received credit approved term sheets for a $320 million sale and leaseback agreement for the refinancing of the existing facility for the vessels Flex Constellation and Flex Courageous. Completion of the refinancing is subject to final documentation and customary closing conditions.
• The Company declared a dividend for the fourth quarter of $0.75.
Øystein M Kalleklev, CEO of Flex LNG Management AS, commented:
“We are pleased to deliver knock-out results for the fourth quarter as guided. Fueled by four ships exposed to a red-hot spot market, revenues for the fourth quarter jumped from $82 million to $115 million, slightly ahead of our guidance of approximately $110 million.
Our average Time Charter Equivalent earnings came in at a solid $95,908 per day, beating the $94,000 per day we managed to achieve during fourth quarter 2019 and close to the $97,571 per day achieved in fourth quarter 2018. In the past, we had significantly higher spot exposure so by being able to beat previous trading results also reflects that during 2021 we have secured an outstanding portfolio of fixed hire Time Charters.
Higher top line also resulted in a fatter bottom line in fourth quarter with our Net Income and Adjusted Net Income coming in at a healthy $69.4 million and $62.8 million respectively. Overall, for the year we delivered Net Income and Adjusted Net Income of $162 million and $145 million respectively which we deem attractive. Strong earnings coupled with a sizeable backlog to first class charterers and a sound financial position put us in position to distribute very shareholder friendly dividends. Consequently, for the fourth quarter 2021, we are paying out $75 cents per share of dividends which provide our shareholder with an attractive yield of around 15 per cent p.a.
In November, we announced a balance sheet optimization program. By de-risking our commercial strategy through adding substantial long-term backlog we reached out to financiers with the aim of unlocking $100 million of cash from our balance sheet. Today we are announcing $695 million of new financing. These financings will release another $87 million in cash on top of the $38 million announced in November through the Flex Volunteer sale and charterback. We have thus already over-delivered on the program initiated in November with $125 million unlocked overall, which will contribute to further growth of our cash balance which stood at a lofty $201 million at year end. Hence, we have a super strong liquidity position, enabling us to act quickly on opportunities if they arise.
The spot freight market went from red-hot in November to ice cold in January, despite elevated gas prices. The primary reason for the spot market slump was that the European gas market went haywire in December due to concerns about gas availability, coupled with a tense security situation in Ukraine with potential implications for Russian pipeline flows to Europe. This resulted in European gas prices trading at a premium to Asian gas prices which effectively closed the West/East arbitrage, having a detrimental effect on sailing distances and thus increased the availability of ships.
As the market shake out subsides, we do however think the freight market will re-balance as volume growth in 2022 is expected to exceed 2021, while the number of newbuildings set for delivery this year is about half of last year. In any case, we remain very well positioned. We are guiding revenues for 2022 in line with what we achieved in 2021 despite the soft spot market at the beginning of the first quarter 2022.”