Bermuda-based shipowner Ship Finance International Limited (SFL) closed the first quarter of 2019 with a considerably higher net income.

The company’s net income rose to USD 33.6 million in Q1 2019 from USD 3.5 million seen in Q4 2018.

The net result was positively affected by charter hire of USD 160 million received from SFL vessels and rigs, including about USD 1 million of profit share from three VLCCs.

As of March 31, 2019, the fixed rate charter backlog from the company’s fleet of 86 vessels and rigs was approximately USD 3.8 billion, with an average remaining charter term of over 5 years.

In Q1 2019, some 62% of SFL’s charter hire was derived from vessels on time charters or in the spot market where SFL provides technical operations.

“Our USD 3.8 billion fixed rate contracted charter backlog supports our continued ability to generate strong cash flows… We have already addressed most of the debt maturities until mid 2020 and secured new long term financings at very attractive terms,” Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of SFL Management AS, commented.

Q1 represented the first full quarter for SFL after USD 1.2 billion of new investments in 2018. These transactions added USD 1.3 billion in future contracted charter revenue.

Although SFL’s most recent investments have been made in container vessels, the company intends to pursue growth opportunities across multiple sectors.

“The last 12 months have been very active, and our strong liquidity position and balance sheet management supports continued growth in asset base and contracted charter backlog. We have been actively evaluating investment opportunities and expect to see new projects materialize later this year,” Hjertaker concluded.

With regards to new maritime regulations that will enter into force in 2020, SFL said that 25 vessels are currently scheduled to be upgraded with scrubbers in 2019 and 2020. These include containerships, large crude oil tankers and dry bulk vessels.

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