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Frontline: “Very limited new supply of oil carrying capacity in years to come”

Frontline reported unaudited results for the three months ended March 31, 2022.

• Net income of $31.1 million, or $0.15 per basic and diluted share for the first quarter of 2022.
• Adjusted net loss of $1.6 million, or $0.01 per basic and diluted share for the first quarter of 2022.
• Reported total operating revenues of $217.4 million for the first quarter of 2022.
• Reported spot TCEs for VLCCs, Suezmax tankers and LR2 tankers in the first quarter of 2022 were $15,700, $16,900 and $19,000 per day, respectively.
• For the second quarter of 2022, we estimate spot TCE on a load-to discharge basis of $22,600 contracted for 74% of vessel days for VLCCs, $32,700 contracted for 70% of vessel days for Suezmax tankers and $46,300 contracted for 58% of vessel days for LR2 tankers.
• Announced a potential stock-for-stock combination between Frontline and Euronav NV (“Euronav”) (NYSE & Euronext: EURN) to create a leading global independent oil tanker operator which on a combined basis would own and operate 67 VLCC, 56 Suezmax vessels and 18 LR2/Aframax vessels.
• Took delivery of the VLCC newbuilding, Front Alta, from Hyundai Heavy Industries (“HHI”) in April 2022.
• Agreed with SFL to terminate the charters for two 2004-built VLCCs, upon sale and delivery of the vessels to the new owners in April 2022.
• Entered into a senior secured term loan facility in April 2022 for a total amount of up to $104.0 million at attractive terms to refinance an existing term loan facility maturing in the first quarter of 2023.

Lars H. Barstad, Chief Executive Officer of Frontline Management AS commented:
“Volatility returned to the tanker market in the first quarter of 2022. Frontline’s effective business model has quickly been able to capture the value, as the markets turned constructive for the asset classes we trade. The conflict in Ukraine, and the subsequent sanctioning of Russia by certain western countries, has significantly disrupted existing trade flows, resulting in new, longer trade lanes for oil and refined products into Europe. The tanker market was already pointing towards a gradual recovery during 2022, with oil in transit back to pre-Covid levels and oil demand in OECD countries seeing healthy growth, but the short-term developments seem to have accelerated this path. Oil supply growth is still uncertain going forward, as oil prices are signaling strong demand and global inventories are at decade lows, echoing the overall tight availability of key commodities in nearly all markets. It is too early to call the cyclical turn expected in shipping generally, and in the tanker market, specifically, but the attractive fundamental picture remains as we face very limited new supply of oil carrying capacity in the years to come. With this backdrop we are very excited working on the proposed combination with Euronav, forming the largest listed tanker owner in the world, creating a strong amalgamation of two of the most well-respected tanker operators at an exciting point in the market. Economies of scale have always been in Frontline’s DNA, and significant synergies are expected to be achieved if the companies come together.”

Inger M. Klemp, Chief Financial Officer of Frontline Management AS, added:
“In the second quarter of 2022 we refinanced one existing term loan facility with total balloon payments of $91.2 million due in the first quarter of 2023. The new facility carries an interest rate of SOFR plus a margin of 180 basis points which translates to a LIBOR equivalent margin of 154 basis points1. The existing facility carried an interest rate of LIBOR plus a margin of 190 basis points. The refinancing will reduce our borrowing cost and industry leading cash break even rates and maximize potential cash flow per share after debt service costs. We expect to refinance two further existing term loan facilities with total balloon payments of $267.1 million due in the first quarter of 2023 prior to maturity.”

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