February 8, 2022 – Navigator Holdings Ltd. (“Navigator”) (NYSE: NVGS), the owner and operator of the world’s largest fleet of handysize liquefied gas carriers, is pleased to provide a trading update ahead of its preliminary unaudited results for the fourth quarter and year ended 2021, which the Company expects to publish in March 2022.
Oeyvind Lindeman, Navigator’s Chief Commercial Officer commented:
“2021 was a landmark year for Navigator. Not only did we complete the most significant M&A transaction in this Company’s history, strengthening the foundations of our business and adding new opportunities to generate value, but we also began to see the value of our investments to date, particularly starting in Q3 2021, where we saw increased revenue and net income compared to prior quarters.
“With these foundations, we continued our strong operational performance in Q4 2021, during which our fleet utilization remained at a high 91.4%, and we achieved throughput volumes at our Houston Ethylene Export Terminal joint venture of 234,000 tons.
“As we look ahead to 2022, Navigator finds itself in a robust position from which it can grow. We look forward to driving further operationally strong performance and finding new ways to drive shareholder value.”
Q4 2021 Operational Highlights:
Based on the Company’s preliminary estimates, the following are specific Q4 2021 operational highlights:
- Strong operational performance across the business in Q4 2021, increasing the results achieved in prior quarters.
- Fleet utilization of 91.4% during the three months ended December 31, 2021, compared to fleet utilization of 84.0% for the three months ended September 30, 2021.
- Houston Ethylene Export Terminal throughput volumes of 234,000 tons for the three months ended December 31, 2021, compared to 128,000 tons for three months ended September 30, 2021.
- Agreed new charter arrangements, including extensions of fixed-rate time charter contracts for our mid-size ethane carriers, with a 4-year extension for the Navigator Eclipse, a 3-year extension for the Navigator Nova and a new 4-year time charter for the Navigator Prominence.
- Freight rates continued to strengthen during Q4 2021, with the 12-month time-charter assessment for handysize semi-refrigerated vessels increasing by 15% from $590,000pcm as of September 30, 2021 to $680,000pcm at year end.
- Reduced debt by approximately $24.2 million during Q4 2021, with cash and cash equivalents standing at approximately $124.0 million as of December 31, 2021.
The Company’s financial and operating information included in this press release is preliminary and is subject to change in connection with the completion of the Company’s quarter-end close procedures and further financial review. Actual results may differ from these estimates, and such differences may be material, as a result of the completion of the Company’s quarter-end closing procedures, review adjustments and other developments that may arise between now and the time such financial information for the quarter ended and the year ended December 31, 2021 is finalized.
Outlook for 2022:
- Continued strong operational performance so far in Q1 2022:
- Fleet utilization expected to average above 90% during Q1 2022;
- Houston Ethylene Export Terminal joint venture reached a record throughput volume of 100,250 tons during the month of January 2022, 20% greater than nameplate capacity, with throughput volumes expected to be in excess of 200,000 tons for Q1 2022.
- Freight rates remained stable leading up to the Lunar New Year, which is reflected in the Clarkson’s 12-month time-charter assessment for handysize semi-refrigerated vessels being quoted at $680,000pcm as of January, 2022.
- Ethylene arbitrage from U.S. to Europe continues to be positive, showing a price differential of more than $600pmt. The arbitrage opportunity in the Far East has closed following reduced inter-China demand and rising U.S. ethylene price. We expect the ethylene arbitrage between the U.S. and the Far East to re-open at some stage after the Lunar New Year.
- In January 2022, the Company sold and delivered the Navigator Neptune, a 2000-built 22,000 cbm ethylene carrier for $21.0 million. In accordance with the terms of the NOK600 million bond issue, on which the vessel was provided as security, the net proceeds from the sale will be the subject of a tender to redeem a portion of the bond.
- In October 2021, the Company sold and delivered the Happy Bride, a 1999-built 6,400 cbm LPG carrier. Both of these vessel sales reduced the average age of our fleet and enhanced the sustainability profile of the Company.
Navigator Holdings Ltd. is the owner and operator of the world’s largest fleet of handysize liquefied gas carriers and a global leader in the seaborne transportation services of petrochemical gases, such as ethylene and ethane, liquefied petroleum gas (“LPG”) and ammonia and owns a 50% share, through a joint venture, in an ethylene export marine terminal at Morgan’s Point, Texas on the Houston Ship Channel, USA. Navigator’s fleet consists of 54 semi- or fully-refrigerated liquefied gas carriers, 21 of which are ethylene and ethane capable. The Company plays a vital role in the liquefied gas supply chain for energy companies, industrial consumers and commodity traders, with its sophisticated vessels providing an efficient and reliable ‘floating pipeline’ between the parties, connecting the world today, creating a sustainable tomorrow.
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This news release contains forward-looking statements concerning plans and objectives of management for future operations or economic performance, or assumptions related thereto, including our trends or forecasts. In addition, we and our representatives may from time to time make other oral or written statements that are also forward-looking statements. Such statements include, among other things, statements about our plans, strategies, business prospects, changes and trends in our business and the markets in which we operate. In some cases, you can identify the forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “may,” “could,” “should,” “would,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “forecast,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “propose,” “potential,” “continue,” “scheduled,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements appear in a number of places in this press release. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, that address activities, events or developments that Navigator expects, projects, believes or anticipates will or may occur in the future, including, without limitation, the outlook for fleet utilisation and shipping rates, general industry conditions, future operating results of the Company’s vessels, capital expenditures, expansion and growth opportunities, business strategy, ability to pay dividends and other such matters, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties. Although the Company believes that its expectations and forecasts stated in this news release are based on reasonable assumptions, actual results may differ any expectations or goals expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements included in this news release, possibly to a material degree. Please refer to the publicly filed documents of Navigator for additional information about the risks and uncertainties related to Navigator’s business, which may affect the statements made in this news release.
Navigator cannot assure you that the assumptions made in preparing any of the forward-looking statements will prove accurate or that any long-term financial goals will be realised. All forward-looking statements included in this news release speak only as of the date made, and Navigator undertakes no obligation to update or revise publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. In particular, Navigator cautions you not to place undue weight on certain forward-looking statements pertaining to potential growth opportunities or long-term financial goals set forth herein. We make no prediction or statement about the performance of our common stock.