FRO – First Quarter 2024 Results

30.05.2024

FRONTLINE PLC REPORTS RESULTS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER ENDED MARCH 31, 2024

Frontline plc (the “Company” or “Frontline”), today reported unaudited results for the three months ended March 31, 2024:

Highlights

  • Profit of $180.8 million, or $0.81 per share for the first quarter of 2024.
  • Adjusted profit of $137.9 million, or $0.62 per share for the first quarter of 2024.
  • Declared a cash dividend of $0.62 per share for the first quarter of 2024.
  • Reported revenues of $578.4 million for the first quarter of 2024.
  • Took delivery of the remaining 13 VLCCs from Euronav NV (“Euronav”) as part of the acquisition of 24 VLCCs (the “Acquisition”).
  • Achieved average daily spot VLCC time charter equivalent earnings (”TCEs”)1 of $48,100 per day , comprised of $54,200 per day for the Company’s existing VLCC fleet prior to the Acquisition and $42,300 for the VLCCs delivered as a result of the Acquisition. The TCEs for the VLCCs delivered were primarily impacted by positioning and $4,900 per day due to ballast days.
  • Entered into agreements to sell its five oldest VLCCs, built in 2009 and 2010, and two of its oldest Suezmax tankers, built in 2010, for an aggregate net sales price of $382.0 million. After repayment of existing debt on the vessels the transactions are expected to generate net cash proceeds of approximately $275.0 million.
  • Refinanced eight LR2 tankers, generating net cash proceeds of approximately $139.0 million.
  • Entered into a senior secured term loan facility in an amount of up to $606.7 million to refinance eight Suezmax tankers and eight LR2 tankers, which is expected to generate net cash proceeds of approximately $278.0 million.
  • The net cash proceeds of approximately $692.0 million expected to be generated from the sales and refinancing of vessels enabled us in April 2024 to repay the $100.0 million drawn under the $275.0 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility with an affiliate of Hemen and will enable us to repay the $295.0 million drawn under the Hemen shareholder loan in relation to the Acquisition.
  • Entered into a fixed rate time charter-out contract in March 2024 for one VLCC to a third party on a three-year time charter at a daily base rate of $51,500.
  • Entered into a time charter-out contract in April 2024 for one Suezmax tanker to a third party on a three-year time charter at a daily base rate of $32,950 plus 50% profit share.

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

“During the first quarter of 2024, Frontline took delivery of the remaining 13 of the 24 VLCCs acquired from Euronav last year.  Our scalable business model has proven efficient as the vessels entered the Frontline fleet smoothly, growing our vessel day exposure by approximately one-third. Our first quarter earnings were solid, as markets remained firm throughout the quarter, and LR2 rates offered proper volatility as returns reached six digits in January 2024. The asset classes we deploy have gradually offered better returns as we progress in 2024.”  

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

“The net cash proceeds of approximately $692.0 million expected to be generated from the sales and refinancing of vessels enabled us in April 2024 to repay the $100.0 million drawn under the $275.0 million senior unsecured revolving credit facility with an affiliate of Hemen and will enable us to repay the $295.0 million drawn under the Hemen shareholder loan in relation to the Acquisition. This completes our strategy of freeing up capital through re-leveraging part of the existing fleet and the sale of older non eco vessels to finance the Acquisition.”

Average daily TCEs and estimated cash breakeven rates

($ per day) Spot TCE Spot TCE estimates % Covered Estimated average daily cash breakeven rates
  Q1 2024 Q4 2023 2023 Q2 2024 2024
VLCC 48,100 42,300 50,300 60,400 78% 31,200
Suezmax 45,800 45,700 52,600 46,400 73% 23,500
LR2 / Aframax 54,300 42,900 46,800 64,700 72% 22,200

In December 2023, the Company took delivery of 11 VLCCs as part of the Acquisition. These vessels contributed 184 trading days net of offhire in the fourth quarter of 2023, of which 150 were ballast days. This negatively impacted the overall VLCC spot rate in the fourth quarter of 2023 by $3,100 per day as limited revenues were recorded in relation to these vessels, whereas the Company includes all trading days in the VLCC spot rate. The 2023 spot TCE actuals presented in the table above exclude the impact of the vessels delivered as a result of the Acquisition.

The spot TCE actuals in the first quarter of 2024 and the spot TCE estimates in the second quarter of 2024 include the impact of all the vessels delivered as a result of the Acquisition. We expect the spot TCEs for the full second quarter of 2024 to be lower than the TCEs currently contracted, due to the impact of ballast days at the end of the first quarter of 2024. The number of ballast days at the end of the first quarter of 2024 was 984 days for VLCCs, 393 days for Suezmax tankers and 212 days for LR2/Aframax tankers. 

The Board of Directors
Frontline plc
Limassol, Cyprus
May 29, 2024

Ola Lorentzon – Chairman and Director
John Fredriksen – Director
Ole B. Hjertaker – Director   
James O’Shaughnessy – Director
Steen Jakobsen – Director
Marios Demetriades – Director
Cato Stonex – Director

Questions should be directed to:

Lars H. Barstad: Chief Executive Officer, Frontline Management AS
+47 23 11 40 00
Inger M. Klemp: Chief Financial Officer, Frontline Management AS
+47 23 11 40 00

Forward-Looking Statements

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 plc 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, including inflationary pressures and central bank policies intended to combat overall inflation and rising interest rates and foreign exchange rates;
  • general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter hire rates and vessel values;
  • changes in the supply and demand for vessels comparable to ours and the number of newbuildings under construction;
  • the highly cyclical nature of the industry that we operate in;
  • the loss of a large customer or significant business relationship;
  • changes in worldwide oil production and consumption and storage;
  • changes in the Company’s operating expenses, including bunker prices, dry docking, crew costs and insurance costs;
  • planned, pending or recent acquisitions, business strategy and expected capital spending or operating expenses, including dry docking, surveys and upgrades;
  • risks associated with any future vessel construction;
  • our expectations regarding the availability of vessel acquisitions and our ability to complete vessel acquisition transactions as planned;
  • our ability to successfully compete for and enter into new time charters or other employment arrangements for our existing vessels after our current time charters expire and our ability to earn income in the spot market;
  • 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 crew members and other employees and the related labor costs;
  • work stoppages or other labor disruptions by our employees or the employees of other companies in related industries;
  • compliance with governmental, tax, environmental and safety regulation, any non-compliance with U.S. regulations;
  • the impact of increasing scrutiny and changing expectations from investors, lenders and other market participants with respect to our ESG policies;
  • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 or other applicable regulations relating to bribery;
  • general economic conditions and conditions in the oil industry;
  • effects of new products and new technology in our industry, including the potential for technological innovation to reduce the value of our vessels and charter income derived therefrom;
  • new environmental regulations and restrictions, whether at a global level stipulated by the International Maritime Organization, and/or imposed by regional or national authorities such as the European Union or individual countries;
  • vessel breakdowns and instances of off-hire;
  • the impact of an interruption in or failure of our information technology and communications systems, including the impact of cyber-attacks upon our ability to operate;
  • potential conflicts of interest involving members of our board of directors and senior management;
  • the failure of counter parties to fully perform their contracts with us;
  • changes in credit risk with respect to our counterparties on contracts;
  • our dependence on key personnel and our ability to attract, retain and motivate key employees;
  • 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 Cyprus 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;
  • government requisition of our vessels during a period of war or emergency;
  • potential liability from pending or future litigation and potential costs due to environmental damage and vessel collisions;
  • the arrest of our vessels by maritime claimants;
  • general domestic and international political conditions or events, including “trade wars”;
  • any further changes in U.S. trade policy that could trigger retaliatory actions by the affected countries;
  • 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 and the developments in the Middle East, including the armed conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip, acts by terrorists or acts of piracy on ocean-going vessels;
  • the length and severity of epidemics and pandemics and their impacts on the demand for seaborne transportation of crude oil and refined products;
  • the impact of port or canal congestion;
  • business disruptions due to adverse weather, natural disasters or other disasters outside our control; and
  • other important factors described from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the Securities and Exchange 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 This press release describes Time Charter Equivalent earnings and related per day amounts, which are not measures prepared in accordance with IFRS (“non-GAAP”). See Appendix 1 for a full description of the measures and reconciliation to the nearest IFRS measure.

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