FRONTLINE LTD. REPORTS RESULTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31, 2022
Frontline Ltd. (the “Company” or “Frontline”), today 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 $267.1 million due in the first quarter of 2023 prior to maturity.”
Average daily time charter equivalents (“TCEs”)2
|($ per day)||Spot TCE||Spot TCE estimates||% Covered||Estimated average daily cash breakeven rates|
|Q1 2022||Q4 2021||2021||Q2 2022||2022|
The estimated average daily cash breakeven rates are the daily TCE rates our vessels must earn 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 second quarter of 2022 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.
The Board of Directors
May 23, 2022
Ola Lorentzon – Chairman and Director
John Fredriksen – Director
Ole B. Hjertaker – Director
James O’Shaughnessy – Director
Jens Martin Jensen – Director
Steen Jakobsen – Director
Questions should be directed to:
Lars H. Barstad: Chief Executive Officer, Frontline Management AS
+47 23 11 40 37
Inger M. Klemp: Chief Financial Officer, Frontline Management AS
+47 23 11 40 76
Matters discussed in this report may constitute forward-looking statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe harbor protections for forward-looking statements, which include statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance, and underlying assumptions and other statements, which are other than statements of historical facts.
Frontline Ltd. and its subsidiaries, or the Company, desires to take advantage of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and is including this cautionary statement in connection with this safe harbor legislation. This report and any other written or oral statements made by us or on our behalf may include forward-looking statements, which reflect our current views with respect to future events and financial performance and are not intended to give any assurance as to future results. When used in this document, the words “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “forecast,” “project,” “plan,” “potential,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “expect” and similar expressions, terms or phrases may identify forward-looking statements.
The forward-looking statements in this report are based upon various assumptions, including without limitation, management’s examination of historical operating trends, data contained in our records and data available from third parties. Although we believe that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because these assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond our control, we cannot assure you that we will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or projections. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
In addition to these important factors and matters discussed elsewhere herein, important factors that, in our view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include the strength of world economies, fluctuations in currencies and interest rates, general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter hire rates and vessel values, changes in the supply and demand for vessels comparable to ours, changes in worldwide oil production and consumption and storage, changes in the Company’s operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry docking and insurance costs, the market for the Company’s vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, our ability to obtain financing and comply with the restrictions and other covenants in our financing arrangements, availability of skilled workers and the related labor costs, compliance with governmental, tax, environmental and safety regulation, any non-compliance with the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) or other applicable regulations relating to bribery, the impact of increasing scrutiny and changing expectations from investors, lenders and other market participants with respect to our ESG policies, general economic conditions and conditions in the oil industry, effects of new products and new technology in our industry, the failure of counter parties to fully perform their contracts with us, our dependence on key personnel, adequacy of insurance coverage, our ability to obtain indemnities from customers, changes in laws, treaties or regulations, the volatility of the price of our ordinary shares; our incorporation under the laws of Bermuda and the different rights to relief that may be available compared to other countries, including the United States, changes in governmental rules and regulations or actions taken by regulatory authorities, potential liability from pending or future litigation, general domestic and international political conditions, potential disruption of shipping routes due to accidents, environmental factors, political events, public health threats, international hostilities including the ongoing developments in the Ukraine region, acts by terrorists or acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels, the length and severity of epidemics and pandemics, including the ongoing global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (“Covid-19”), and their impacts on the demand for seaborne transportation of petroleum products, the impact of increasing scrutiny and changing expectations from investors, lenders and other market participants with respect to our Environmental, Social and Governance policies, the impact of port or canal congestion and other important factors described from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission or Commission.
We caution readers of this report not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of their dates. These forward-looking statements are no guarantee of our future performance, and actual results and future developments may vary materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements.
This information is subject to the disclosure requirements pursuant to Section 5-12 the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.
1 Based on the three month historic Credit Adjustment Spread (CAS) between SOFR and LIBOR of approximately 26 basis points.
2 This press release describes Time Charter Equivalent earnings and related per day amounts, which are not measures prepared in accordance with US GAAP (“non-GAAP”). See Appendix 1 for a full description of the measures and reconciliation to the nearest GAAP measure.