SCF’s expanding industrial shipping business provides resilience in challenging conventional tanker market
H1 2017 Highlights
- World’s first ice-breaking LNG carrier, Christophe de Margerie (Arc7 class, 172,600m3 cargo capacity), delivered into long-term time-charter with Yamal LNG
- New highly specialised ice-breaking platform supply vessel (IBSV) Gennadiy Nevelskoy (3,259 tonnes DWT) delivered in March. This was followed in June by Stepan Makarov (3,319 tonnes DWT), the first in a series of three new multifunctional ice-breaking standby vessels (MIB). All four vessels will operate on the Sakhalin-2 project under 20-year time-charters to Sakhalin Energy Investment Company
- USD 174 million, 15-year credit facility raised from Sberbank in March, to refinance two Arctic shuttle tankers (Mikhail Ulyanov and Kirill Lavrov) servicing the Prirazlomnoye project (the Pechora Sea).
- Successful raising of a further USD 150 million above the 2016 Eurobond issue, achieving one of the lowest yields for a global shipping company and which attracted widespread investors interest.
Commenting on the Group’s results Sergey Frank, President and CEO of PAO Sovcomflot, said:
“The first half of 2017 was very challenging for global tanker markets, with spot freight rates in all market segments nearing their historic lows. This has impacted severely upon the profitability of those owners focused solely on conventional shipping. During the first half of 2017, the benefit of the Group’s growing commitment to its specialised offshore and fixed income gas transportation businesses clearly demonstrated its worth. Despite the turbulent conditions seen in conventional markets, SCF Group has continued to demonstrate resilience whilst remaining able to position itself to take advantage of the future upswing in these markets when it comes.
“In the first half, the Group continued to implement its strategy and demonstrated its capacity to innovate and break new ground. The Group took delivery of the World’s first ice breaking LNG carrier, Christophe de Margerie, two unique ultra-modern icebreaking platform supply vessels Gennadiy Nevelskoy and Stepan Makarov and placed the first ever orders for LNG-fuelled Aframax tankers, to provide a step reduction in shipping emissions.
“Regardless of the adverse market conditions, we continue to enhance further the quality of our operations and implement operational programmes designed to provide for safe shipping, environmental protection and risk mitigation, to continue to attract talented seafarers and shore personnel, keeping in mind that human capital is one of SCF’s core competitive advantages.”
Nikolay Kolesnikov, Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, noted:
“In the first half of 2017, the Group raised USD 341 million in debt capital, including a highly successful tap of our 2016 Eurobond issue. The latter was heavily oversubscribed, with one of the lowest yields seen for a global shipping company. It attracted significant international as well as domestic demand. The proceeds for the new capital raised, were used to retire the remainder of our maturing USD 800 million debut Eurobonds, issued in 2010. In addition, a 15-year credit facility was raised to refinance two shuttle tankers. Overall, the total debt capital raised by Sovcomflot during the period 2016 to 2017 is USD 1.6 billion.”
“The robustness of Sovcomflot’s business model is underpinned by USD 8.0 billion of contracted future revenues and is reflected in its credit ratings and the cost of debt capital. The Group is rated BB+/stable by S&P (rating reconfirmed in August 2017) and Ba1/stable by Moody’s (both on a par with the Russian sovereign ratings from these agencies). Meanwhile, in June 2017 FitchRatings improved the outlook on its BB rating from “stable” to “positive”.
H1 2017 Financial Highlights
|USD millions||H1 2017||H1 2016|
|Gross revenue (Freight and hire)||
|Time Charter Equivalent Revenue||530.8||576.4 |
* Calculated on the adjusted basis as operating profit before depreciation and amortization adjusted by gain/(loss) on sale of subsidiaries, gain/(loss) on sale of equity-accounted investments, other operating revenues/(expenses) and interest income.
On 16 March 2017, the Group concluded a USD 174.0 million 15-year credit facility with Sberbank, to refinance two Arctic shuttle tankers (Mikhail Ulyanov and Kirill Lavrov) servicing the Prirazlomnoye project.
The Group’s subsidiary, SCF Capital, issued USD 150.0 million of unsecured Senior Notes on 10 April 2017, which mature on 16 June 2023. These were consolidated and form a single series with the Group’s existing Eurobonds (USD 750 million 5.375% Senior Notes due in 2023). The issue was 3.8 times over-subscribed and attracted significant international as well as domestic demand. Priced at USD 102.8, the Senior Notes had a yield of 4.85 per cent, representing the lowest-ever achieved for a global shipping company rated below investment grade.
Dividends of Rouble (RUB) 3.12 per share, totalling RUB 6,141.0 million, equivalent to USD 106.9 million were declared on 16 June 2017 and paid on 27 June 2017 (2016 – RUB 3.04 per share totalling RUB 5,972.7 million equivalent to USD 92.9 million).
As at 30 June 2017, Sovcomflot was rated BB+/stable (S&P), Ba1/stable (Moody’s) and BB/positive (Fitch)
A copy of the full consolidated financial statements is available in the investor section of the Group’s website.
Business segment highlights
The Group’s diversified business model continued to be a source of strength. A strong performance from the Offshore and Gas divisions was seen in the first half. In these segments, vessels generally focus on servicing industrial energy projects on long-term time charter. It provided relief against the deteriorating conditions witnessed in the conventional tanker markets, which were most noticeable in the second quarter of 2017. This balance of revenue sources helped gross revenue for the six months to 30 June 2017 to increase by 4.4 per cent to USD 710.2 million (H1 2016: USD 680.3 million).
The Group’s divisional performance during the first half, based on time charter equivalent revenues, is summarised in the following table.
|TCE* Revenues (USD millions)||H1 2017||H1 2016|
|Offshore (including shuttle tankers and specialist supply vessels) ||
|Gas Transportation (including LNG and LPG)||76.4||72.6|
|Crude Oil Transportation|| 182.3||266.2|
|Oil Products Transportation ||85.2 ||105.7|
* Time charter equivalent (TCE) represents shipping revenues less voyage expenses and is commonly used in the shipping industry to measure financial performance and to compare revenue generated from a voyage charter to revenue generated from a time charter.
In February, the Group contracted for the construction of four new generation liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuelled 114,000 deadweight ice-classed Aframax tankers, the first such tankers in the world to use LNG fuel in line with the fleet renovation programme. Following this, the Group signed an agreement with Shell Western LNG B.V. (Shell) in April for the supply of LNG to these vessels, which are scheduled to be delivered to SCF from July 2018 to February 2019.
The concept for these tankers was developed as part of the preparation for the construction of such vessels at Zvezda shipbuilding complex (Primorsky region of Russia’s Far East).
It is envisaged that by 2021 the construction of such large-capacity tankers will commence at Zvezda. They will operate primarily between the Baltic and Northern Europe transporting crude oil and petroleum products. Each tanker will have an ice class 1B hull enabling year-round export operations from the Russian Baltic.
In April, the icebreaking supply vessel (IBSV) Gennadiy Nevelskoy was delivered, followed in June by Stepan Makarov, the first in a series of three multifunctional icebreaking (MIB) standby vessels to be delivered to the Group. All four vessels will operate under twenty-year agreements with Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd., servicing the Sakhalin-2 project.
The Group and the Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University (MSUN, Vladivostok) signed an agreement in April to establish a joint educational and research project entitled the “Floating Laboratory”. It will be based aboard the IBSV Gennadiy Nevelskoy. This agreement is the latest chapter in a long-term programme of cooperation between SCF Group and the MSUN.
In April Marine Money named Sovcomflot’s USD 750 million 7-year Eurobond bond offering ‘Institutional Debt Deal of the Year 2016’ and Seatrade, its “Deal of the Year”. In April, Sovcomflot's Arctic shuttle tanker Shturman Albanov won the international award for ‘2016 Ship of the Year’ at the 2017 Marine Propulsion Awards.
Events after the reporting period
On 21 July 2017, the Group signed an agreement for the construction of a fourth in a series of Arctic shuttle tankers to service the Novy Port project, under a long-term time-charter with Gazprom Neft. The vessel is due for delivery in October 2019.
On 17 August 2017, the Group’s icebreaking LNG carrier Christophe de Margerie successfully completed her first commercial voyage, transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) through the Northern Sea Route (NSR) from Norway to South Korea. The vessel set a new record for an NSR transit of just 6 days 12 hours and 15 minutes.
As at 30 June 2017, the Group’s fleet (including vessels owned, chartered-in, and in joint ownership with third parties) comprised 149 vessels with a combined deadweight of approximately 13.1 million tonnes. At the end of the 1H 2017, the Group had six vessels under construction, scheduled for delivery from September 2017 to February 2019, comprising of two multifunctional ice breaking (MIB) standby vessels and four ice-class, LNG-fuelled Aframax crude oil tankers.
A detailed fleet list is available at the Group’s website.
SCF Press Service
PAO Sovcomflot (SCF Group) is one of the world's leading shipping companies, specialising in the transportation of crude oil, petroleum products, and liquefied gas, as well as servicing offshore upstream oil and gas installations and equipment. The Group’s fleet comprises 149 vessels with a total deadweight of over 13.1 million tonnes. The company is registered in St. Petersburg with offices in Moscow, Novorossiysk, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, London, Limassol, and Dubai.
The Group offers a wide range of vessels in the market segments most demanded by major Russian oil and gas companies. With its own technical development and unique approach to advanced technologies, Sovcomflot can meet the most demanding customer requirements, providing effective transportation for oil & gas companies.