Golar LNG Partners reported net income of $35.4 million and operating income of $55.8 million for the third quarter of 2013, as compared to net income of $28.0 million and operating income of $44.4 million for the second quarter of 2013.
Improved operating results for the third quarter of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 are due in part to a biennial uplift to the capital component of the Golar Spirit and Golar Winter time charter rates that took effect in the second quarter of 2013 coupled with a further increase in the Golar Winter rate that took effect mid-way through the third quarter to compensate for the modification works recently completed. Most of the improvement in operating results, however, reflects the contribution from the Golar Maria. Comparable results for 2012 do not reflect the contribution of Golar Maria as this vessel was not under the common control of Golar at the time of her acquisition by the Partnership in the first quarter of 2013. The improved results are partially offset by increased depreciation and amortisation reflecting the additional investment in the Golar Winter modifications and four vessel drydocks over the intervening 12 months.
Following the acquisition of the Golar Grand and NR Satu from Golar, the comparative results for the third quarter ended 2012 assume that the Golar Grand and NR Satu were wholly owned by the Partnership for the entire period that the vessels were under the common control of Golar.
An absence of any drydocks since June 2013 has meant that operating results for the third quarter constitute a significant improvement over the second quarter when one LNG carrier, the Methane Princess, and one FSRU, the Golar Winter were in drydock incurring both offhire and positioning costs. Cumulative second quarter offhire in respect of these two vessels amounted to approximately 10 weeks. A third vessel, the Golar Mazo, also drydocked during the second quarter, however, the impact of this was limited to a relatively modest positioning cost. No such offhire or positioning costs were incurred in respect of any vessel during the third quarter. Additional revenue receivable in respect of the Golar Winter modifications commenced in early August.
Net interest expenses increased to $11.1 million for the third quarter of 2013 compared to $10.3 million for the second quarter. This is largely due to the impact of the new $275 million facility, secured by the Golar Winter and the Golar Grand, entered into at the end of the second quarter. The facility is larger and accrues interest at a higher rate than the two leases it replaces, whilst the benefit of the cash discount on termination of the two leases has been reflected in full in the prior period. The facility is split into two tranches, a $225 million term loan and a further $50 million revolver, of which $45 million remains undrawn as of September 30, 2013.
Other financial items for the third quarter of 2013 recorded a loss of $4.1 million compared with a small loss of $0.1 million in the second quarter. Non-cash mark-to-market valuation losses on interest rate swaps of $0.2 million in the third quarter compared to a gain of $4.8 million in the second quarter. This gain however was substantially offset by the write off of deferred financing fees associated with the June refinancing of the Golar Winter and Golar Grand leases.
LNG World News Staff, November 27, 2013; Image: Golar