US-listed GasLog Partners has tied up its LNG carrier fleet for the rest of this year with over 75% of its vessel charter days being committed for 2022 in the current strong market and has hinted at the potential to expand its fleet.
Announcing its third quarter results, chief executive Paolo Enoizi said: "Our fleet performed with nearly 100% uptime, while our revenues and cash flows improved significantly from the second quarter."
Enoizi highlighted that the company's fleet is 100% fixed for the fourth quarter and 76% for 2022.
"This fixed charter coverage along with the cash flows generated thus far in 2021 more than covers all the partnership’s operating, overhead, current debt service and other fixed obligations through at least 2022," he said.
As of September 30, 2021, GasLog Partners fleet consisted of ten tri-fuel diesel electric LNG carriers and five steam turbine ships.
But on 26 October the company said it completed its planned sale and lease-back of its 155,000-cbm GasLog Shanghai (built 2013) to a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Development Bank Leasing.
"We also have other rights under which we may acquire additional LNG carriers from GasLog," the company said. "We believe that such rights could provide us with built-in growth opportunities.
"We may also acquire vessels or other LNG infrastructure assets from shipyards or other owners."
But the company added that any acquisition of vessels or LNG infrastructure assets may be dependent upon its ability to raise additional equity and debt financing.
GasLog Partners' third quarter profit soared by 123% to $26.5m, from $11.9m in the same period of 2020.
Revenues inched up 11% to $80.5m compared to $72.8m in the period to 30 September last year.
The company said this was mainly due to the improved performance of its spot fleet — which it defines as ships with charter-hire periods of five years or less — and the "ongoing improvement" of the LNG shipping market in 2021, along with fewer scheduled dry-dockings.
The company said vessel operating costs fell by $0.7m to $18.6m from $19.3m in third quarter 2020.
This is mainly attributable to a decrease of $1.1m in technical maintenance expenses and decreased insurance costs of $0.7m, partially offset by an increase in Covid-19-related crew costs of $1.0m.
The company repaid a further $36.1m of debt during the quarter, bringing the total lendings it has retired during the first nine months of this year to $90.9m.
It also repurchased approximately $12.4m of shares which it said reduced the fleet's all-in cash break-even.
GasLog Partners welcomed industry veteran Kristin Holth, who previously sat on parent GasLog's board, as an independent board director after Daniel Bradshaw announced he would be stepping down from 31 October for personal reasons.
Enoizi said GasLog Partners' capital allocation priorities for 2022 remain focused on reducing its leverage and improving the cash break-even of the fleet.
He said this may include accelerated debt repayment or further opportunistic repurchases of shares in the open market.
"Lower debt levels and cash break-even rates will position the Partnership for continued success in the spot and short-term market for LNG shipping," the CEO said.