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Frontline takes dive into the red in second quarter

Frontline reported unaudited results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2021:


• Net loss of $26.6 million, or $0.13 per basic and diluted share for the second quarter of 2021.

• Adjusted net loss of $23.2 million, or $0.12 per basic and diluted share for the second quarter of 2021.

• Reported total operating revenues of $170.0 million for the second quarter of 2021.

• Reported spot TCEs for VLCCs, Suezmax tankers and LR2 tankers in the second quarter of 2021 were $15,000, $11,000 and $10,600 per day, respectively.

• For the third quarter of 2021, we estimate spot TCE on a load-to discharge basis of $14,000 contracted for 70% of vessel days for VLCCs, $9,800 contracted for 64% of vessel days for Suezmax tankers and $11,800 contracted for 63% of vessel days for LR2 tankers. We expect the spot TCEs for the full third quarter of 2021 to be lower than the TCEs currently contracted, due to the impact of ballast days at the end of the third quarter as well as current freight rates.

• Entered into an agreement in May 2021 for the acquisition through resale of six scrubber fitted, latest generation ECO-type VLCC newbuilding contracts currently under construction at the Hyundai Heavy Industries (“HHI”) shipyard in South Korea. The vessels are scheduled to deliver during 2022 starting in the first quarter.

• Entered into agreement in June 2021 to acquire two scrubber fitted, latest generation ECO-type VLCCs built in 2019 at the HHI shipyard in South Korea. The vessels are scheduled to deliver during the fourth quarter of 2021.

• Obtained financing commitments for three senior secured term loan facilities in August 2021 in a total amount of up to $247.0 million to partially finance the acquisition of the two VLCCs built in 2019 and two of the six VLCC newbuilding contracts, which are subject to final documentation.

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

“The tanker markets remained challenging throughout the second quarter of 2021, even though most energy related commodities and shipping markets saw a firm upswing in demand and prices. Soft tanker markets did catch up with Frontline this quarter, but with our modern fleet, cost-efficient and agile operating model we continued to yield returns above key benchmarks. Oil demand is recovering firmly in the U.S. and Europe, and with relatively high vaccination rates, the spread of the Delta variant has had a limited impact on oil demand recovery in these regions. In Asia however the pace of the recovery is more clouded as countries again move in to lock-downs. The fundamentals of the tanker market continue to be encouraging, and even more pronounced now as orderbooks are being filled with vessels catering for trades other than oil and refined products. Looking at key market indices for tankers, and the fleet average age and composition, we believe that we are now in a situation where a significant portion of the fleet is experiencing negative freight rates. This is not sustainable. Frontline has faced markets like these before, and we continue to position ourselves towards what we believe will be a firm recovery as global markets continues to regain lost ground.”

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

“We are very pleased to have secured financing commitments in a total amount of up to $247.0 million on highly attractive terms to partially finance four of our newly acquired VLCCs. Through this financing we extend our bank group, reduce our borrowing cost and industry leading cash break even rates and maximize potential cash flow per share after debt service costs.”

Average daily time charter equivalents (“TCEs”)1

The estimated average daily cash breakeven rates are the daily TCE rates our vessels must earn in order to cover operating expenses including dry docks, repayments of loans, interest on loans, bareboat hire, time charter hire and net general and administrative expenses for the remainder of the year.

Spot estimates are provided on a load-to-discharge basis, whereby the Company recognizes revenues over time ratably from commencement of cargo loading until completion of discharge of cargo. The rates reported are for all contracted days up until the last contracted discharge of cargo for each vessel in the quarter. The actual rates to be earned in the third quarter of 2021 will depend on the number of additional days that we can contract, and more importantly the number of additional days that each vessel is laden. Therefore, a high number of ballast days at the end of the quarter will limit the amount of additional revenues to be booked on a load-to-discharge basis. Ballast days are days when a vessel is sailing without cargo and therefore we are unable to recognize revenues. Furthermore, when a vessel remains uncontracted at the end of the quarter, the Company will recognize certain costs during the uncontracted days up until the end of the period, whereas if a vessel is contracted, then certain costs can be deferred and recognized over the load-to-discharge period.

The recognition of revenues on a load-to-discharge basis results in revenues being recognized over fewer days, but at a higher rate for those days. Over the life of a voyage there is no difference in the total revenues and costs to be recognized as compared to a discharge-to-discharge basis.

When expressing TCE per day the Company uses the total available days, net of off hire days and not just the number of days the vessel is laden.

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