Frontline Reports $107.7 Million Profit in Q3

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Frontline reported unaudited results for the nine months ended September 30, 2023:

Highlights

Profit of $107.7 million, or $0.48 per basic and diluted share for the third quarter of 2023.
Adjusted profit of $80.8 million, or $0.36 per basic and diluted share for the third quarter of 2023.
Declared a cash dividend of $0.30 per share for the third quarter of 2023.
Reported revenues of $377.1 million for the third quarter of 2023.
Announced agreement for an integrated solution to the strategic and structural deadlock in Euronav NV (“Euronav”).
Closed the sale of 13.7 million shares of Euronav to CMB NV for proceeds of $252.0 million.
Entered into agreements with Euronav to purchase 24 VLCCs with an average age of 5.3 years, for an aggregate purchase price of $2,350.0 million from Euronav (the “Acquisition”). All agreements are effective, and a majority of the vessels are expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2023 and the balance of the vessels are expected to be delivered in the first quarter of 2024.
Entered into a senior secured term loan facility with a group of our relationship banks in November 2023 in an amount of up to $1,410.0 million and a shareholder loan from Hemen Holding Ltd., the Company’s largest shareholder (“Hemen”), in an amount up to $539.9 million to partly finance the Acquisition.

Lars H. Barstad, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS, commented:

“The third quarter of the year proved to be a shoulder quarter for Frontline. As the Russian benchmark crude price firmly established itself above the price cap, owners left the trade causing the capacity in the non-Russia fleet to grow. We have had a streak of four strong quarters, but July to September came in on the softer side. Towards the end of the quarter, we saw normal seasonality return, and freight demand picked up as refineries in the northern hemisphere came out of their maintenance season. Strong US exports and continuous firm Asian imports have brought us back to a more normalized market where VLCCs take the lead on earnings. This amplifies our excitement as we prepare to take delivery of the 24 modern VLCCs from Euronav, more than doubling our exposure to this segment, increasing our overall tanker footprint by more than 30%.”

Inger M. Klemp, Chief Financial Officer of Frontline Management AS, added:

“We are very grateful for the financial support from a group of our relationship banks and our largest shareholder, allowing us to react quickly to growth opportunities which made the acquisition of the 24 modern VLCCs from Euronav possible. We will continue to consistently focus on maintaining our competitive breakeven levels to ensure that we are well positioned to generate significant cash flow and create value for our shareholders.”

We expect the spot TCEs for the full fourth quarter of 2023 to be lower than the TCEs currently contracted, due to the impact of ballast days at the end of the third quarter. The number of ballast days at the end of the third quarter was 429 for VLCCs, 394 for Suezmax tankers and 128 for LR2/Aframax tankers. The estimated spot TCE rates and cash breakeven rates exclude the impact of the Acquisition. The Company expects the Acquisition vessels delivered in the fourth quarter to load their first cargos for the Company in January 2024 and, as such, expects the additional revenues to be recognized in the fourth quarter of 2023 in relation to these vessels to be limited.

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