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01-27-2009 02:29 PM CET | Logistics & Transport

Press release from: Euronav NV

ANTWERP, Belgium, 20th January 2009 – The executive committee of Euronav NV (EURONEXT BRUSSELS: EURN) today reported its preliminary financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2008:

The company had a net result of USD 36 million (fourth quarter 2007: USD -12.1 million) for the 3 months ended 31st December 2008 or USD 0.72 per share (fourth quarter 2007: USD -0.23 per share). EBITDA was USD 130.1 million (fourth quarter 2007: USD 48.6 million).

For the year ending 31 December 2008, the net results before deferred tax are USD 400 million (2007: USD 100.1 million) or USD 7.99 per share (2007: USD 1.95 per share). This makes it the highest net result ever recorded in the company’s history.

The average daily time charter equivalent rates (TCE) obtained by the company’s fleet in the Tankers International (TI) pool was approximately USD 59,000 per day (fourth quarter 2007: USD 34,300 per day) and for the full year, USD 95,700 per day (2007: USD 44,600 per day). The time charter equivalent earnings of the Euronav Suezmax fleet which is fixed on long term time charters, including profit shares when applicable, was USD 41,700 per day for the fourth quarter (fourth quarter 2007: USD 34,400 per day) and USD 41,650 per day (2007: USD 33,200) for the full year.

The result of the fourth quarter is affected by the revaluation at marked-to-market levels of non cash items (unrealized) such as: hedge instruments on interest rates for a total of USD -31 million, FFA portfolio USD -3 million and USD 1 million on the company’s short term investments portfolio. Furthermore, the realized loss on the company’s short term investments amounts in the fourth quarter to USD -15 million.

The double hull Aframaxes: Fidelity and Fantasy (2002-106,550 dwt) were delivered to their new owner during the fourth quarter and a total capital gain of 45.6 million was recorded in the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Newbuildings Suezmax Cap Theodora (2008-159,000 dwt) and VLCC Olympia (2008-318,000 dwt) were delivered from the yard to the company. VLCC rates throughout the year 2008 have been exceptional and by far the highest ever seen during a full year. The high rate environment that the tanker market enjoyedunderlined a very tight balance between supply and demand for double hull quality ships caused in part by negative growth in the VLCC world fleet. This exceptional environment was mostly due to a flood of conversions of VLCC, mostly single hulls into VLOC (dry bulk ships) and FSO/FPSO.

Since May 2008 and to this date, Euronav bought back 1,712,000 at an average price of EUR 18.70. The conversion of the TI Asia and the TI Africa into sophisticated FSO is well under way. The TI Asia arrived mid October in the shipyard whilst the TI Africa entered the yard at the start of 2009. The FSOs will enter service respectively by July and September of 2009.

The first quarter of 2009 started at the same strong levels as the fourth quarter 2008 averaging time charter equivalent revenue of over USD 70,000/day for VLCC spot in the most recent weeks. The current upswing is partly the result of tankers being used as storage by producers and traders of oil. This results in less vessels available for the transport of crude oil.

The global economy for 2009 will be characterized by recession or low growth. Demand for oil and consequently its transportation will be aided by current low prices. The current shortage of quality tankers will decrease as newly constructed vessels are delivered in 2009. This should be offset by the number of single hull ships expected to become commercially obsolete between now and 2010.

Euronav will maintain its position as a top quality operator of modern double hull large crude oil tankers. The company will also continue to balance the employment for its young fleet between fixed rate (timecharter contract) and variable rate (sport charter). At the start of 2009, 18 out of 29 owned vessels are contracted on period charter. The remaining vessels employed in the spot market are all traded in the Tankers International pool which has proven to perform better than the market in general.


: Euronav is an integrated owner, operator and manager able to provide complete shipping services in addition to the carriage of crude oil on its fleet of modern large tankers. The crude oil sea-borne transportation market is cyclical and highly volatile requiring flexible and proactive management of assets in terms of fleet composition and employment. Euronav operates its fleet on both the spot and the period market. Most of Euronav VLCCs as well as all VPLUS are operated in the Tankers International pool. Euronav operates at the moment all of its Suezmaxes and Aframaxes under period charter contracts with oil majors, leading refiners and oil traders such as BP, Glencore, Petrobras, Sun Oil, Total Valero and Vitol. Fleet management is conducted by three wholly owned subsidiaries: Euronav Ship Management SAS and Euronav SAS, both French companies with headquarters in Nantes (France) and with a major branch office in Antwerp and Euronav Ship Management (Hellas) Ltd with its head office in Piraeus, Greece. The skills of its directly employed seagoing officers, shore-based Captains and Engineers give Euronav a competitive edge in high quality design, maintenance and operation. Euronav vessels fly Belgian, Greek and French flag. The use of national flag together with operational and maintenance standards in terms of age, appearance and performance which are higher than industry norms enables Euronav to employ part of its fleet on long-term charter with fixed earnings to secure financial visibility.

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