Third Quarter and Nine Months 2009 Results
The Board of Frontline Ltd. (the “Company” or “Frontline”) announces a net loss attributable to the Company of $5.6 million for the third quarter of 2009, equivalent to loss per share of $0.07, compared with net income attributable to the Company of $27.8 million and earnings per share of $0.36 for the preceding quarter. Net operating income in the third quarter was $28.2 million, compared with $62.1 million in the preceding quarter.
The reported loss reflects a weaker spot market. The average daily time charter equivalents (“TCEs”) earned in the spot and period market in the third quarter by the Company’s VLCCs, Suezmax tankers and Suezmax OBO carriers were $32,100, $15,900 and $42,200, respectively, compared with $38,400, $26,800, and $42,700, respectively, in the preceding quarter. The spot earnings for the Company’s double hull VLCCs and Suezmax tankers were $26,800 and $12,800, respectively, in the third quarter of 2009, compared with $38,700 and $24,400, respectively, in the preceding quarter. The Gemini Suezmax pool had spot earnings of $14,866 per day in the third quarter.
Profit share expense of $4.8 million has been recorded in the third quarter as a result of the profit sharing agreement with Ship Finance International Limited (“Ship Finance”) compared to $8.0 million in the preceding quarter. Ship operating expenses increased by $1.8 million compared with the preceding quarter, primarily as a result of increased dry docking costs as one additional vessel dry docked in the third quarter compared to the second quarter.
Charterhire expenses decreased by $7.4 million in the third quarter compared with the preceding quarter due to the weaker spot market, which has resulted in reduced expenses on floating rate charters and profit share payments on two vessels.
Interest income was $5.6 million in the third quarter, of which $5.2 million relates to restricted deposits held by subsidiaries reported in Independent Tankers Corporation Limited (“ITCL”). Interest expense, net of capitalized interest, was $39.8 million in the third quarter of which $10.6 million relates to ITCL.
Frontline announces net income attributable to the Company of $98.8 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2009, equivalent to earnings per share of $1.27. The average daily TCEs earned in the spot and period market in the nine months ended September 30, 2009 by the Company’s VLCCs, Suezmax tankers and Suezmax OBO carriers were $40,200, $26,600 and $43,000, respectively, compared with $81,100, $61,800 and $43,800, respectively, in the nine months ended September 30, 2008. The spot earnings for the Company’s double hull VLCCs and Suezmax tankers were $40,700 and $24,900, respectively, in the nine months ended September 30, 2009.
As of September 30, 2009, the Company had total cash and cash equivalents of $584.7 million, which includes $478.9 million of restricted cash. Restricted cash includes $293.8 million relating to deposits in ITCL and $184.3 million in Frontline, which is restricted under the charter agreements with Ship Finance.
In November 2009, the Company has average total cash cost breakeven rates on a TCE basis for VLCCs and Suezmaxes of approximately $32,900 and $27,100, respectively.
On November 26, 2009, the Board declared a dividend of $0.15 per share. The record date for the dividend is December 8, 2009, ex dividend date is December 4, 2009 and the dividend will be paid on or about December 22, 2009.
The full report is available for download in the link enclosed.
The Board of Directors
November 26, 2009
Questions should be directed to:
Jens Martin Jensen: Chief Executive Officer, Frontline Management AS
+47 23 11 40 99
Inger M. Klemp: Chief Financial Officer, Frontline Management AS
+47 23 11 40 76
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward looking statements. These statements are based upon various assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions, including Frontline management’s examination of historical operating trends. Although Frontline believes that these assumptions were reasonable when made, because assumptions are inherently subject to significant uncertainties and contingencies which are difficult or impossible to predict and are beyond its control, Frontline cannot give assurance that it will achieve or accomplish these expectations, beliefs or intentions.
Important factors that, in the Company’s view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in this press release include the strength of world economies and currencies, general market conditions including fluctuations in charter hire rates and vessel values, changes in demand in the tanker market as a result of changes in OPEC’s petroleum production levels and world wide oil consumption and storage, changes in the Company’s operating expenses including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, 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 or political events, and other important factors described from time to time in the reports filed by the Company with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.