TORM narrows loss

Nov 29 2019

Product tanker owner TORM has reported an EBITDA for the third quarter of 2019 of $32 mill, compared with $14.7 mill for the same period of 2018.

The company also suffered a loss before tax of $8.5 mill, compared to a loss of $24.5 mill for 3Q18.

Cash flow from operating activities was positive at $32.9 mill in 3Q19, compared to $18.3 mill recorded I 3Q18. 

In 3Q19, TORM achieved daily TCE rates of $13,392, compared with $10,598 per day in 3Q18.

Product tanker freight rates softened in 3Q19 but rebounded strongly at the start of the fourth quarter, following a significant increase in crude tanker rates, due to attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities.

This increase accelerated dramatically after the US imposed sanctions on two subsidiaries of China’s COSCO Shipping. In general, product tanker freight rates were stronger in the eastern than in the western hemisphere during 3Q19.

TORM said that it expected to install 44 scrubbers on its fleet and has since the last quarter committed to an additional 10 scrubber installations.

The new installations support a balanced approach to the new sulfur regulation, as a result of which about half of TORM’s fleet will operate with scrubbers.

The recently decided additional scrubber installations will be undertaken during the first and the second quarter of 2020. As of 12th November, 2019, TORM had fitted 16 scrubbers. Of the remaining 28 installations, seven are expected to be concluded in 2019, 12 in the first quarter of 2020 and nine in the second quarter of 2020.

As seen across the entire industry, TORM has experienced some delays in recent scrubber installations. The company decided to postpone some installations to the first and the second quarter of 2020 to reduce the risk of further delays, and also to take advantage of the current strong market, the company said.

“Having experienced a seasonally softer freight rate environment in the third quarter of 2019, the product tanker market has strengthened significantly going into the fourth quarter. As the demand and supply balance tightens towards the upcoming IMO 2020, individual events have caused spikes in product tanker freight rates to levels last seen in 2008,” explained Executive Director, Jacob Meldgaard: “For the fourth quarter, our bookings as of 8th November, 2019 were at $19,531 per day, reflecting the strong market we are currently operating in.”

In total, TORM executed sale and leaseback transactions for eight vessels during 3Q19, all with terms supporting the company’s solid capital structure, it claimed.

As of 30th September, 2019, TORM’s available liquidity was $337 mill, consisting of $120.8 mill in cash and cash equivalents and $216.2 mill in undrawn credit facilities.

At the same time, net interest-bearing debt amounted to $732.5 mill. Cash and cash equivalents included $14.5 mill in restricted cash, primarily related to security placed as collateral for financial instruments.

As at the end of September, 21% of the remaining total earning days in 2019 were covered at an average rate of $15,655 per day. As of 8th November, the coverage for 4Q19 was 63% at $19,531 per day.

For the individual segments, the LR2 coverage was 69% at $26,267, LR1s at 59% at $20,736, MRs at 61% at $18,095 and 75% at $14,990 per day for the Handies.


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