Norway’s Frontline recorded profits of $22m from the sale of three tankers in 2023, new figures show.

The Oslo-listed tanker operator has sold one VLCC and two suezmaxes for a combined $145m this year, it said in its half-year report.

John Fredriksen's Frontline also reported that charter revenues had topped $1bn for the first half of the year.

The 321,000-dwt Front Eminence (built 2009) was sold in January to floating production storage and offloading group Yinson in Malaysia for $61m. It has since been renamed Eminence.

In the same month, it sold the 156,000-dwt scrubber-fitted suezmax Front Balder (built 2009) for $39.5m. It has been renamed Bay Global and is being operated by Turkey’s Pier Ship Management, according to Vessels Value.

After repayment of debt, the deals netted cash of $63.6m. The company recorded a gain on sale of $9.9m and $2.8m respectively.

The company sold a second suezmax 156,000-dwt Front Njord (built 2010) for $44.5m to unknown buyers in May and recorded a gain on sale of $9.3m, TradeWinds has previously reported. The three sales netted the company $22m, up from $4.6m in the same period of 2022.

Frontline now has a fleet of 65 vessels including 22 VLCCs, 25 suezmax tankers and 18 aframaxes after taking delivery of two VLCC newbuildings the Front Orkla and Front Tyne in January.

It has no more newbuildings on order but has been linked to further sales. TradeWinds reported Friday that European brokers said the company had agreed a deal for its 297,000-dwt Chinese-built Front Signe (built 2010) at $63m, with a drydocking passed.

Chief executive Lars Barstad said this week that the lowest order book since 1996 and growing oil demand was the basis for strong market conditions for the coming years. The current orderbook-to-fleet ratio for VLCCs currently stands at 1.5%.

The state of the orderbook means that more than 12% of the VLCC fleet and 14% of suezmaxes will be above 20 years of age in 2023, said the company. It said the delivery window for VLCCs has moved to the second half of 2026.

The CEO told Capital Link’s London forum that the market was set fair “unless we see oil demand fall off a cliff for the next five or six years”.

The company’s revenues of more than $1bn compared to the $518m recorded in the first half of 2022.

A small decline in time charter revenues was outstripped by voyage charters more than doubling from $463m in the first half of 2022 to $971m this year.

The company said revenues had benefitted from strong freight rates, a switch of some vessels from time charters and newbuilds being put to work on the spot market.