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TORM reports strong first half of 2020

Danish shipping company TORM has reported a strong market during the first quarter which continued into the second quarter of 2020, resulting in the strongest half-year since 2008.

TORM achieved a profit before tax of USD 128m for the first six months of 2020.

“I am pleased that TORM’s strong financial position allows us to distribute a total of USD 63m, or DKK 397m, in dividends to our shareholders for the half-year,” said executive director Jacob Meldgaard.

“With recent sales of seven older vessels at attractive prices, we have continued our ongoing fleet renewal activities, enabling TORM to actively pursue attractive opportunities in the market as they arise.

“Further, I am pleased that at this point in the third quarter of 2020, TORM’s solid operational platform has secured strong bookings that indicate a positive result for the whole quarter.”

Environmental technology

TORM has reported that as of August 17 2020, it has installed 40 scrubbers and expects to increase this to 49 by the end of the year.

Of the remaining nine installations, five are expected to be conducted in the third quarter this year, one in the fourth quarter this year and one in the third quarter of 2021. The remaining two scrubbers will be installed on the two LR2 newbuildings to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021.

After the quarter ended, TORM received commitment for financing of scrubbers and ballast water treatment systems on four vessels from an international financing institution. The drawdown of the debt will be approx. USD 12m and will be made when all installations are finalized later in 2020. After the quarter ended, TORM furthermore received commitment from Hamburg Commercial Bank to refinance USD 35m in senior secured debt covering five older vessels. The refinancing will postpone the debt maturity related to these vessels from 2021 to 2025, thereby providing additional financial flexibility.

COVID-19

During the COVID-19 pandemic, TORM has fully maintained its operations thanks to the One TORM platform. The shipping company also praised the efforts of its crew members, stating that while crew changes remain an issue due to travel bans and quarantine, the company has observed a very positive development since the end of the second quarter and has conducted more than 700 crew changes since the end of June, reducing the percentage of crew with overdue employment from approx. 40 per cent to approx. 10 per cent of the total crew on board TORM’s vessels.

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