Bermuda-based LNG carrier owner Flex LNG announced its best-ever financial results with a net income of around USD 24 million for the fourth quarter of 2019.
This compares to USD 15.2 million reported for the same period in 2018 and a major rebound when compared quarter on quarter as net income for Q3 2019 stood at USD 0.5 million.
For the full year, the company’s net income was USD 17.1 million, a significant improvement year-on-year from USD 11.7 million reported for 2018.
During 2019, the company took delivery of two LNG carriers which were put directly into a strong spot market in the second half of 2019.
The company has six vessels on the water and an additional seven newbuildings under construction, which are scheduled for delivery between the second quarter of 2020 and the second quarter of 2021. Flex LNG said that its fleet has the ability to be present in all three major basins: the Atlantic Basin, Pacific Basin, and Middle East Basin.
“Given the fact that we positioned our fleet for a stronger winter market we were able to achieve trading results in the fourth quarter of 2019 similar to what we did in the fourth quarter of 2018, when rates were at all-time high,” ?ystein M Kalleklev, CEO of Flex LNG Management AS, commented.
“Based on fixtures to date, we anticipate the TCE for the first quarter 2020 to be close to USD 70,000 per day, despite the demand slump in the first quarter due to a record warm winter and the recent coronavirus outbreak.”
Industry sources expect China’s LNG import growth to be reduced by approximately 2.6 to 6.3 million tonnes in 2020. However, Flex LNG expects demand growth to pick up again once the coronavirus outbreak is contained. Long term, the annual growth in LNG trade over the next two decades is expected to be about 3 to 4 percent annually.
“Due to the uncertainty and disruptions created by the coronavirus and associated low gas prices, we have elected to be cautious by maintaining a USD 0.10 dividend for the fourth quarter, and for the time being rather preserve liquidity, which stood at close to USD 130 million at year-end. This gives us a comfortable financial position to handle the current market situation. While the freight and gas markets are currently challenging, LNG continues to be a long term story with expected annual growth of around 3 to 4 percent for the next two decades as natural gas, and to greater extent LNG, is the transition fuel for a cleaner and more sustainable future, ” Kalleklev added.