As of December 31, 2002 (full year 2002) NAT had an operating profit of $10.6 million as against $21.0 million during the same period last year. The net profit as of December 31, 2002 was $8.8 million as compared to $19.4 million in the same period last year. The decrease in earnings in 2002 as compared to 2001 is a result of tanker rates being higher in 2001. Net profit in the fourth quarter of 2002 was $4.6 million as compared to $1.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Stronger tanker rates and the results for the fourth quarter of 2002 has enabled the Company to pay a 1st quarter 2003 dividend of $0.63 per share. The total dividend paid in years 2002 and 2001 were $1.35 and $3.87 per share, respectively. The 1st quarter 2003 dividend of $0.63 will be paid on or about February 24th to shareholders of record as of February 4th 2003. The next dividend payment from NAT will be declared in April 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 Suezmax tankers in the fourth quarter of 2002 (not the NAT vessels) was above the agreed minimum rate with the charterer BP Shipping. The 4th quarter 2002 time charter (T/C) equivalent for the NAT vessel was $33,868 per day compared to $22,000 in the first, second and third 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: