ANTWERP, Belgium, 15 January 2016 – Euronav NV (NYSE: EURN & Euronext: EURN) (“Euronav” or the “Company”) today takes the opportunity to update investors on current market conditions in the large tanker market.
Notwithstanding the current capital markets sentiment which seems to be predominantly negative, Euronav wishes to emphasize that it continues to experience robust and
fundamental strength in the VLCC and Suezmax sectors. The average daily time charter equivalent rates (TCE) obtained by the Company’s fleet in the Tankers International pool in the fourth quarter 2015 was approximately USD 62, 000 per day (4Q14: USD 31, 650/day).
The time charter equivalent earnings of the Euronav Suezmax spot fleet was above USD
40, 000 per day for the fourth quarter 2015 (4Q14: USD 24, 250 per day).
So far, until the 8th of January, the Euronav VLCC fleet operated in the Tankers
International pool has earned about USD 77, 000 per day and over 25% of the available
days have been fixed.
Euronav also take this opportunity to announce that the Company is in the final stage of
selling the VLCC Famenne (2001 – 298, 412 dwt), one of its two oldest VLCC vessels, for
USD 38.4 million. The vessel was wholly owned by Euronav and would be delivered to its
new owner in the course of the first quarter 2016.
Demand has been and continues to be solid with a range of supportive factors starting with
the price of crude oil. The price for crude oil has indeed fallen by a third since the start of
December and continues to benefit tanker companies such as Euronav, as one of the key
expenses (bunker costs) is a direct derivative of the price of crude oil. In addition, the
demand for oil should be stimulated as a direct result of the lower oil price as we have
monitored throughout 2015. Finally, the recent repeal of the USA ban on crude oil exports
should add additional demand for crude oil transportation.
Vessel supply remains moderate with only a handful of confirmed additional newbuilding
orders placed since the end of the third quarter 2015 and for delivery scheduled in 2018.
Euronav therefore strongly feels that the recent fall in its share price, even taken in
perspective to a wider peer group, does not correctly reflect the current value of the share.
As set out above, Euronav believes that there is no objective justification for the downward
movement of the share price.
Management reaffirms its intention to return to its shareholders at least 80% net earnings
for each fiscal year excluding exceptional items such as gains or losses on the disposal of
vessels by way of dividends but does not exclude, given where the share price is currently
trading to opportunistically buy back shares in the open market. The extent to which
Euronav repurchases its shares if at all, and the timing of such repurchases, will depend
upon a variety of factors, including market conditions, regulatory requirements and other
corporate considerations, as determined at the sole discretion of Euronav’s management.
Euronav will release its fourth quarter 2015 unaudited results as planned on the 28th of
January 2016. Further details in this respect can be found on the investor section of the
Announcement of fourth quarter results 2015: Thursday 28 January 2016
Euronav is an independent tanker company engaged in the ocean transportation and storage of crude oil and
petroleum products. 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 56 double hulled
vessels being one V-Plus vessel, 28 VLCCs (of which 1 in 50%-50% joint venture), three VLCCs under construction
which were recently acquired as resales of existing newbuilding contracts, 22 Suezmaxes (of which four are owned in 50%-50% joint ventures) and two FSO vessels (both owned in 50%-50% joint venture). The Company’s vessels mainly fly Belgian, Greek, French and Marshall Island flags.
Regulated information within the meaning of the Royal Decree of 14 November 2007