Hoegh Autoliners began payouts to shareholders amid increasing profit on Thursday — for the first time since carrying out an IPO late last year and listing on the main market of the Oslo Stock Exchange in May.

This is part of a new dividend policy adopted by the owner and operator of around 40 ro-ro vessels and car carriers.

Net profit came in at $53m in the second quarter — up 49%. Hoegh Autoliners said it will distribute $15m of that profit to shareholders in September.

This is just the beginning. Hoegh Autoliners said in its financial earnings that it is planning regular payouts to shareholders of between 30% and 50% of quarterly net profit.

However, these after-tax payments will be “adjusted for extraordinary items” and also take into consideration the company’s outlook, investment opportunities and financial position — always remaining at the discretion of the board of directors.

Dividends will be declared in US dollars and paid in Norwegian krone. The current dividend payment of $0.079 per share is equivalent to NOK 0.760 per share, based on the exchange rate between the two currencies published by Norges Bank on 10 August.

Based on current trading performance, which Hoegh Autoliners henceforth will be providing monthly updates for, the company expects to maintain the level of its dividend payments at around the same figure for the remainder of the year.

“I am happy to see how we are able to create shareholder value through both our excellent operational performance and through the recently concluded refinancing of our legacy debt, as well as the financing of the newbuilding programme,” company chief financial officer Per Oivind Rosmo said.

This refers to the refinancing of Hoegh Autoliners’ fleet mortgage debt in June, at what the company called “significantly improved terms”.

Hoegh Autoliners has eight zero-carbon, Aurora-class car carriers on order in China — delivery of which is set to begin in the second half of 2024. These will be the biggest car carriers in the world.

Volatile markets

Hoegh Autoliners chief executive Andreas Enger said it was ‘a great satisfaction’ to be delivering record quarterly financial results. Photo: Hoegh Autoliners

Company chief executive Andreas Enger said it was “a great satisfaction” to be delivering record quarterly financial results despite “geopolitical challenges, lockdown in China, supply chain disruptions, rising fuel costs and continuous port congestions”.

“General market fundamentals remain positive with a tight tonnage situation and repricing of cargo in most trade lines,” the company said in its outlook.

At the same time, it added that volatility related to supply chain disruptions, delays and port congestion “is expected to continue for a while and could potentially impact the current favourable supply and demand balance if the situation with delays normalises”.