Sovcomflot's first quarter performance 'exceeded the targets'



Sovcomflot's positive 2019 momentum has carried into the new year, according to the Russian tanker and gas shipping giant.

The company said chief executive Igor Tonkovidov informed the board during a meeting on 7 April that preliminary results for the first quarter were looking good.

"Indicative performance data shows that the group has exceeded the targets planned for first quarter of this year," Sovcomflot said in a press release.

The company did not disclose figures. It had said in March that it had a $13bn charter backlog for this year.

"This is as good as it gets for any marine transportation group," chief financial officer Nikolai Kolesnikov said last month.

"The supply demand fundamentals are very strong, with the newbuilding orderbook at historic lows. We are fairly optimistic about 2020."

For the full-year 2019, Sovcomflot posted a $225.4m profit, a significant reversal from the 2018 loss of $45.6m.

The performance was backed by $1.66bn in revenue, up slightly from the $1.5bn earned in the prior year.

It also announced it had secured $1bn in financing, a chunk of it to pay for newbuildings, including three LNG-powered MR tankers and ice-class LNG carriers.

“We are pleased that the large-scale cooperation between Sovcomflot and Russia's leading energy companies is facilitating domestic construction of state-of-the-art LNG carriers and LNG-fuelled Aframax and MR tankers," Tonkovidov said.

"The total value of shipbuilding orders placed by Sovcomflot at the Russian yards has already exceeded $1.5bn."