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20/03-2019 22:33:51: (EULU01) Euronav announces final year results 2018

HIGHLIGHTS

o	Counter cyclical merger with Gener8 Maritime successfully completed 
o	Challenging freight market for crude oil tanker industry with reduced
OPEC-driven production and excess supply of large tankers
o	Highest level of older tonnage recycling since 1985 with VLCC rates returning
to longer term averages during Q4
o	Long haul destinations increasingly dominant, tightening tanker market in
latter half 2019
o	Returns to shareholder policy via minimum fixed dividend of USD 0.12 per share
augmented with share buyback
o	Balance sheet strength retained with substantial liquidity to navigate the
cycle 

ANTWERP, Belgium, 20 March 2018 - Euronav NV (NYSE: EURN & Euronext: EURN)
("Euronav" or the "Company") today reported its final financial results for the
full year to 31 December 2018.

Paddy Rodgers, CEO of Euronav said: "For most of the year Euronav faced one of
the most difficult and challenging freight markets the tanker industry has
experienced in recent times. A combination of reduced cargo supply from
self-imposed OPEC production cuts and excess supply of large tankers provided
sustained downward pressure on freight rates until the final quarter of the
year. The difficult trading environment had the benefit of driving a rebalancing
between vessel supply and demand with fleet maturity which we believe has now
returned to longer term averages. In our view, the recovery in freight rates
during Q4 and into 2019 indicates the dynamic between supply and demand is near
equilibrium." 

According to the IEA, global oil demand growth will remain at relatively strong
levels in 2019, with the average daily oil demand surpassing 100 million barrels
per day for the first time. Incremental demand will come predominantly from
China and India, but also from the US. Another important contributor to
incremental supply in 2019 is Brazil, where delays to a number of projects that
were due to commence production last year have pushed the incremental barrels
into 2019. This geographical imbalance of incremental demand and supply is
positive for the crude tanker markets as long haul travels will take capacity
out of the market with a tightening effect.

In terms of fleet growth the first half of 2019 is expected to see a large
influx of newbuildings in the VLCC segment, while the Suezmax market is
expecting a more moderate newbuilding programme. We believe that a number of
market factors will help to absorb these new ships, such as increased demand for
large tankers due to the expansion in US exports, vessels going into
countercyclical dry-docking to retrofit scrubbers, and that there is a potential
for an increased number of vessels going into storage as the market prepares for
the IMO 2020 deadline. Recycling activity is also anticipated to continue in
2019 as the global fleet age is now back to longer term average levels.   

All things considered, 2019 is expected to present a turning point in the
freight market. The market appears to be reaching a point of equilibrium in
terms of fundamentals with tanker owners able to benefit from the freight rate
improvements that a more balanced tanker market tends to present.


2018 Key figures

															
	The most important key figures are:													
															
	(in thousands of USD)				Fourth Quarter 2018			Fourth Quarter 2017			Full Year
2018			Full Year 2017	
															
	Revenue				236,107			117,978			600,024			513,368	
	Other operating income				1,237			1,020			4,775			4,902	
															
	Voyage expenses and commissions				(44,492)			(14,257)			(141,416)			(62,035)	
	Vessel operating expenses				(53,812)			(33,952)			(185,792)			(150,427)	
	Charter hire expenses				(7,844)			(7,844)			(31,114)			(31,173)	
	General and administrative
expenses				(15,977)			(13,736)			(66,232)			(46,868)	
	Net gain (loss) on disposal of tangible
assets				(237)			36,518			18,865			15,511	
	Impairment on non-current assets held for sale				(2,995)			-			(2,995)			-	
	Depreciation				(78,483)			(56,427)			(270,693)			(229,872)	
															
	Net finance expenses				(23,828)			(12,059)			(74,389)			(43,463)	
	Gain on bargain purchase				(13,202)			-			23,059			-	
	Share of profit (loss) of equity accounted
investees				3,783			2,053			16,076			30,082	
	Result before taxation				257			19,294			(109,832)			25	
															
	Tax benefit (expense)				22			61			(238)			1,358	
	Profit (loss) for the period				279			19,355			(110,070)			1,383	
															
	Attributable to:    Owners of the company				279			19,355			(110,070)			1,383	
															
															
															
															
	The contribution to the result is as follows:														
															
	(in thousands of USD)				Fourth Quarter 2018			Fourth Quarter 2017			Full Year
2018			Full Year 2017	
															
	Tankers				(3,284)			17,499			(125,930)			(28,485)	
	FSO				3,563			1,856			15,860			29,868	
	Result after taxation				279			19,355			(110,070)			1,383	
															
															
 
															
															
	Information per share:														
															
	(in USD per share)				Fourth Quarter 2018			Fourth Quarter 2017			Full Year
2018			Full Year 2017	
															
	Weighted average number of shares (basic)
*				218,999,367			158,166,534			191,994,398			158,166,534	
	Result after taxation				0.00			0.12			(0.57)			0.01	
															
															
															
* The number of shares issued on 31 December 2018 is 220,024,713.										
															

															
	EBITDA reconciliation (unaudited):													
															
	(in thousands of USD)				Fourth Quarter 2018			Fourth Quarter 2017			Full Year
2018			Full Year 2017	
															
	Profit (loss) for the period				279			19,355			(110,070)			1,383	
	+ Depreciation				78,483			56,427			270,693			229,872	
	+ Net finance expenses				23,828			12,059			74,389			43,463	
	+ Tax expense (benefit)				(22)			(61)			238			(1,358)	
															
	EBITDA				102,568			87,780			235,250			273,360	
															
	+ Depreciation equity accounted investees				4,555			4,555			18,071			18,071	
	+ Net finance expenses equity accounted
investees				1,318			(14)			3,635			829	
	+ Tax expense (benefit) equity accounted
investees				354			3,365			1,598			1,488	
															
	Proportionate EBITDA				108,795			95,686			258,554			293,748	
															
															
															
															
	Proportionate EBITDA per share:														
															
	(in USD per share)				Fourth Quarter 2018			Fourth Quarter 2017			Full Year
2018			Full Year 2017	
															
	Weighted average number of shares
(basic)				218,999,367			158,166,534			191,994,398			158,166,534	
	Proportionate EBITDA				0.50			0.60			1.35			1.86	
															
															
															
All figures have been prepared under IFRS as adopted by the EU (International
Financial Reporting Standards).
The Group has initially applied IFRS 15 and IFRS 9 at January 1, 2018. Under the
transition methods chosen, comparative information is not restated.



Procedures of the independent auditor:

The statutory auditor, KPMG Bedrijfsrevisoren - Réviseurs d'Entreprises,
represented by Patricia Leleu, has confirmed that the audit procedures, which
have been substantially completed, have not revealed any material misstatement
in the accounting information included in the Company's annual announcement.


2018 Dividend 

The Board and Management of Euronav are proposing to pay a final cash dividend
of USD 6c per share subject to shareholder approval at the AGM on May 9th 2019.
This payment covers the second half of the financial year to December 2018. This
payment is part of Euronav's fixed dividend policy of USD 12c per year
reflecting the fixed income streams from our long term time charter contracts
and FSO operation.

The Company will return USD 17.1 million comprising a cash dividend of USD 13.2
million (6c per share) and USD 3.9 million (1.5c per share) in the form of share
buyback that took place in the second half of 2018. 

Euronav has subsequently returned an additional USD 16.4 million (equivalent to
7c per share) to shareholders so far during calendar 2019 in the form of share
buyback. This return of value should be considered as part of the total return
to shareholders alongside the fixed cash dividend. Our fixed dividend policy of
paying a cash dividend of USD 12 c per share per annum remains in place. Any
subsequent returns via either share buyback or additional cash dividends will be
at the discretion of the Board and Management reflecting the tanker market
outlook and cash earnings. 

According to the Company's dividend policy, it will be proposed to the Annual
Shareholder's meeting of 9 May 2019 to distribute a gross dividend in the amount
of USD 0.06 per share to all shareholders. Subject to shareholder approval, this
would bring the total gross dividend paid in relation to 2018 to USD 0.12.
Taking into account the gross dividend of USD 0.06 per share already paid in
October 2018, a balance of a gross amount of USD 0.06 per share will be payable
as from 24 May 2019. The share will trade ex-dividend as from 15 May 2019
(record date 16 May 2019). The dividend to holders of Euronav shares listed and
tradeable on Euronext Brussels will be paid in EUR at the USD/EUR exchange rate
of the record date.


Share purchases
As part of its capital allocation strategy, Euronav has the option of buying its
own shares back should the Board and Management believe that there is a
substantial value disconnect between the share price and the real value of the
Company. This return of capital is in addition to the fixed dividend of USD 0.12
per share paid each year. On 31 December 2018 the Company had purchased 545,486
of its own shares on Euronext Brussels. Following these transactions, the
Company owned 1,237,901 own shares (0.56% of the total outstanding shares) at
year-end.

The Company started buying back shares on 19 December 2018 and has announced
several additional share buybacks since 2 January 2019. Euronav may continue to
buy back its own shares opportunistically. The extent to which it does and the
timing of these purchases, will depend upon a variety of factors, including
market conditions, regulatory requirements and other corporate considerations.


Preparation for IMO 2020 
Euronav wholeheartedly embraces the IMO 2020 regulations - the Company wants to
adopt the new regulation properly, universally and without delay. Euronav
continues to work closely with suppliers and producers on alternative mechanisms
in which to capture volatility in the prices and differentials between HFO and
LSFO and retains a very strong balance sheet providing optionality and
flexibility to address the challenges of implementing IMO 2020. Furthermore, the
Company notes that an increasing number of jurisdictions have decided to ban
open-loop scrubbers in order to preserve the environment where it can easily be
regulated. For further details on our positioning and preparation please visit
the investor section at our website www.euronav.com. 




2018, the year in which Euronav NV and Gener8 Maritime, Inc. concluded their
merger

On 12 June 2018, Euronav successfully concluded its merger with Gener8 Maritime,
Inc. following the approval by the shareholders meeting of Gener8 Maritime, Inc.
on 11 June 2018. On 13 June, Euronav announced that it had successfully
concluded the merger with Gener8 Maritime. Euronav received the award for 'Deal
of the Year 2018' for this merger at the Lloyds List Global Awards in London.
The merger with Gener8 was a challenging transaction from an operational,
financial and legal perspective. 
Some key highlights: 

May
On 16 May 2018 Gener8 Maritime, Inc. announced their special shareholders'
meeting to vote on the proposed merger with Euronav as contemplated by the
previously announced merger agreement.

June
On 11 June 2018 Euronav NV and Gener8 Maritime, Inc. announced that Gener8's
shareholders approved the merger between the two companies by which, upon the
closing of the merger, Gener8 became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Euronav.
Holders of 81% of the outstanding shares of Gener8 cast their vote, of which 98%
approved the merger.

On 13 June 2018 Euronav announced that it had successfully concluded the merger
with Gener8 Maritime. The 60.9 million new shares issued to Gener8 shareholders
as consideration for the transaction began trading on the NYSE. It marked an
important milestone in the continued development of Euronav. Completing this
transaction provided the crude tanker market with a global player of substantial
size, accommodating clients' demand for flexibility and scale solutions to their
transportation requirements.

In conjunction with the merger with Gener8 Maritime, Inc., Euronav sold six
VLCCs to International Seaways for a total consideration of USD 434 million
which included USD 123 million in cash and USD 311 million in the form of
assumption of the outstanding debt related to the vessels. The six vessels were
the Gener8 Miltiades (2016 - 301,038 dwt), Gener8 Chiotis (2016 - 300,973 dwt),
Gener8 Success (2016 - 300,932 dwt), Gener8 Andriotis (2016 - 301,014 dwt),
Gener8 Strength (2015 - 300,960 dwt) and Gener8 Supreme (2016 - 300,933 dwt).



Other Euronav highlights in 2018

January
On 23 January 2018 Euronav was selected from ten sectors and the only Belgian
listed company to join the inaugural 2018 Bloomberg International
Gender-Equality Index. The reference index measures gender equality across
internal company statistics, employee policies, external community support and
engagement, and gender-conscious product offerings. 

March
On 26 March 2018 Suezmax Cap Quebec (2018 - 156,600 dwt) was delivered into the
Euronav fleet. This vessel was the first of four Ice Class Suezmax vessels
progressively starting seven-year contracts with a leading global refinery
player from delivery during 2018. When taking delivery of the Cap Quebec, the
Company paid USD 45.5 million (including the final instalment). 

April
On 25 April 2018, Euronav took delivery of the Cap Pembroke (2018 - 156,600 dwt)
against the payment of the remaining instalments of USD 43.5 million in
aggregate. This vessel was the second of four Ice Class Suezmax vessels
progressively starting seven-year contracts with a leading global refinery
player from delivery during 2018. 

June
On 8 June 2018 Euronav sold the Suezmax Cap Jean (1998 - 146,643 dwt) for USD
10.6 million. The Company recorded a capital gain of approximately USD 10.6
million. The sale of the Cap Jean was part of a fleet rejuvenation program. 

On 29 June 2018 Euronav Tankers NV acquired the VPlus Seaways Laura Lynn (2003 -
441,561 dwt) from Oceania Tanker Corporation, a subsidiary of International
Seaways for USD 32.5 million. Euronav renamed the VPlus as Oceania and
registered it under the Belgian flag. The Seaways Laura Lynn was the only other
Vplus in the global tanker fleet - Euronav was also owner of the other one, the
Europe (2002 - 442,470 dwt), providing the company with a significant strategic
opportunity.


August
On 8 August 2018 Euronav took delivery of the third Suezmax the Cap Port Arthur
(2018 - 156,600 dwt) against the payment of the remaining instalments of USD
43.5 million in aggregate. This vessel was one of the four orders that were
accompanied by seven-year time charter contracts. 

On 23 August 2018 Euronav sold the Suezmax Cap Romuald (1998 - 146,640 dwt) for
USD 10.6 million. The Company recorded a capital gain of approximately USD 9
million. The sale of the Cap Romuald was part of a fleet rejuvenation program. 
  
On 29 August 2018 Euronav took delivery of the Cap Corpus Christi (2018 -
156,600 dwt) against the payment of the remaining instalments of USD 43,5
million in aggregate. 
	
October
On 31 October 2018 Euronav sold the Suezmax vessel Felicity (2009 - 157,667 dwt)
to a global supplier and operator of offshore floating platforms. A capital loss
on the sale of approximately USD 3.0 million was recorded in Q4 2018. The cash
generated on this transaction after repayment of debt was USD 21.1 million. The
vessel was delivered to her new owners and would be converted into an FPSO and
therefore leave the worldwide trading fleet in 2019. The sale - the eighth
vessel successfully introduced by Euronav into an offshore project -
demonstrated Euronav's capability to generate value for its stakeholders and
reflected its reputation for providing high quality operational tonnage for the
offshore sector.

November
On 1st of November 2018 Euronav sold the LR1 vessel Genmar Companion (2004 -
72,768 dwt). A capital loss on the sale of approximately USD 0.2 million has
been recorded in Q4 2018. The cash generated on this transaction after repayment
of debt was USD 6.3 million. The vessel was delivered to her new owners 29
November 2018. The LR1 Genmar Companion joined the Euronav fleet as part of the
Gener8 merger in June 2018 and was always a non-core asset to the Company.

December 
On 19 December, the Company initiated a programme to buy back its own shares
opportunistically, as part of a capital allocation strategy. The extent to which
it does and the timing of these purchases depend upon a variety of factors,
including market conditions, regulatory requirements and other corporate
considerations.


 

Events occurred after the end of the financial year ending 
31 December 2018  

On 17 January 2019 Euronav was again included in the Bloomberg International
Gender-Equality Index. The reference index measures gender equality across
internal company statistics, employee policies, external community support and
engagement, and gender-conscious product offerings. Recognition by Bloomberg is
an important accreditation to our Company on the continued progress made in
supporting and maintaining gender equality throughout Euronav.  

On 4 February 2019 Euronav's CEO Paddy Rodgers announced his decision to step
down from his role as CEO during 2019. Euronav commenced a recruitment process
for a new CEO with Paddy remaining in his position until a successor is
appointed to facilitate an efficient transition period. Paddy is leaving Euronav
in a strong position with sector low leverage, substantial liquidity and
operational flexibility to take on the challenges from the tanker market going
forward. Euronav's strategy remains unchanged and the Board and Management team
look forward to building on the legacy created by Paddy. 

On 20 February 2019 Euronav sold the LR1 Genmar Compatriot (2004 - 72,768 dwt)
for USD 6.75 million. The Company will record a capital gain of approximately
USD 0.4 million in the second quarter. The LR1 Genmar Compatriot joined the
Euronav fleet as part of the Gener8 merger in June 2018 and was always a
non-core asset to the Company. The vessel will be delivered to her new owners in
the course of April 2019, after which the Euronav owned and operated fleet will
consist of 72 vessels.

Since the start of 2019, Euronav continued to buy back its own shares and today
owns a total of 3,144,172 shares (1.43% of the total outstanding shares). 




Financial calendar 2019

Tuesday 2 April 2018 
Annual report 2018 available on website 

Wednesday 24 April 2018
Announcement of first quarter results 2019

Thursday 9 May 2019
Annual General Meeting of Shareholders 2019

Thursday 8 August 2019
Announcement of final half year results 2019

Tuesday 13 August 2019
Half year report 2019 available on website

Tuesday 29 October 2019
Announcement of third quarter results 2019

Thursday 23 January 2020
Announcement of fourth quarter results 2019


The Board of Directors, represented by Carl Steen, its Chairman, and the
Executive Committee, represented by Paddy Rodgers, Chief Executive Officer, and
Hugo De Stoop, Chief Financial Officer, hereby confirm, in the name and for
account of Euronav that, to the best of their knowledge the consolidated
financial statements as of and for the year ended 31 December 2018 presented
herein were established in accordance with applicable accounting standards (IFRS
as adopted by the EU) and give a true and fair view, as defined by these
standards, of the assets, liabilities, financial position and results of Euronav
NV.

On behalf of the Board of Directors:





Paddy Rodgers						Carl Steen
Chief Executive Officer				Chairman of the Board of Directors



 

Forward-Looking Statements 

Matters discussed in this press release may constitute forward-looking
statements. The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides safe
harbor protections for forward-looking statements in order to encourage
companies to provide prospective information about their business.
Forward-looking statements 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. 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. The words "believe",
"anticipate", "intends", "estimate", "forecast", "project", "plan", "potential",
"may", "should", "expect", "pending" and similar expressions identify
forward-looking statements.

The forward-looking statements in this press release are based upon various
assumptions, many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions,
including without limitation, our management's examination of historical
operating trends, data contained in our records and other 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.

In addition to these important factors, other important factors that, in our
view, could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in
the forward-looking statements include the failure of counterparties to fully
perform their contracts with us, the strength of world economies and currencies,
general market conditions, including fluctuations in charter rates and vessel
values, changes in demand for tanker vessel capacity, changes in our operating
expenses, including bunker prices, dry-docking and insurance costs, the market
for our vessels, availability of financing and refinancing, charter counterparty
performance, ability to obtain financing and comply with covenants in such
financing arrangements, 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, vessels
breakdowns and instances of off-hires and other factors. Please see our filings
with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for a more complete
discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.


*
*  *


Contact:
Brian Gallagher - Head of IRC		           
Tel: +44 20 78 70 04 36                                          	            
Email: IR@euronav.com 		         


Annual Report 2018 available on website:  Tuesday, 2 April 2019

About Euronav

Euronav is an independent tanker company engaged in the ocean transportation and
storage of crude oil. The Company is headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, and has
offices throughout Europe and Asia. Euronav is listed on Euronext Brussels and
on the NYSE under the symbol EURN. Euronav employs its fleet both on the spot
and period market. VLCCs on the spot market are traded in the Tankers
International pool of which Euronav is one of the major partners. Euronav's
owned and operated fleet consists of 2 ULCCs, 43 VLCCs, 25 Suezmaxes and 2 FSO
vessels (both owned in 50%-50% joint venture). 

Regulated information within the meaning of the Royal Decree of 14 November
2007.

Ekstern link: https://newsweb.oslobors.no/message/472578

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