As of 03/31/03 (1st quarter 2003) NAT had an operating profit of $11.4 million as against $1.8 million during the same period last year. The net profit for the 1st quarter 2003 was $10.9 million as against $1.4 million in the same period last year. The increase in the earnings in the 1st quarter 2003 compared to the same period in year 2002 is a result of tanker rates being stronger this quarter.
Stronger tanker rates and the results for the 1st quarter of 2003 enable the Company to pay a 2nd quarter 2003 dividend of $1.27 per share. Including the dividend for the 2nd quarter of 2003, the total dividend paid so far in 2003 is $1.90 per share. The total dividend paid in 2002 and 2001 were $1.35 and $3.87 per share, respectively. The 2nd quarter 2003 dividend of $1.27 will be paid on or about May 15th to shareholders of record as of April 26th 2003. The next dividend payment from NAT will be declared in July 2003.
Under contracts with BP Shipping, NAT achieves rates that correspond to the spot market for modern Suezmax tankers, but not below $ 22,000 per day (T/C equivalent), which is the agreed minimum rate with BP Shipping. The spot market for modern Suezmax tankers in the 1st quarter of 2003 was above the agreed minimum rate the NAT vessels have with the charterer BP Shipping. The 1st quarter 2003 time charter (T/C) equivalent for the NAT vessels was $57,756 per day compared to $33,868 in the 4th quarter of 2002 and $22,000 in the 3rd and 2nd quarters of 2002.
The contracts for the NAT vessels are drawn up in a way that secures income 365 days a year for the vessels and no off-hire. The contracts with BP Shipping commenced on October 1, 1997 and run for a minimum of 7 years and a maximum of 14 years if all options are declared.
The full press release including tables can be downloaded from the following link: