ECONOMY

Tsakos sees 4.1 pct rise in its January to March earnings

Tsakos Energy Navigation Limited (TEN) posted a 4.1 percent rise in net profits in the first quarter of 2007. The New York-listed shipping company saw its net profits come to $43.47 million from $41.77 million in the same period in 2006. Profits per share came to $2.28, also 4.1 percent higher year-on-year. The company’s turnover in Q1 2007 totaled $96.49 million, against $75.61 million a year earlier. TEN has already made arrangements for the chartering of its fleet for 80 percent of the days of the coming year of 2007 and for 62 percent of next year. This means assured earnings of $215 million and $210 million, respectively. Company officials believe that the tanker sector will not see any major shifts in activity in this period, with demand for oil expected to increase by about 1.8 percent during this year. Greek flag on TOP? Separately, TOP Tankers is mulling the possibility of raising the Greek flag on some of its 23 vessels. It is currently locked in negotiations with the Merchant Marine Ministry, as the firm’s chief financial officer, Stamatis Tsantakis, told journalists. The company is emerging from hard times due to a revision of its finances and court action taken by some of its shareholders, but is now apparently rebounding, according to its officers, as reflected by the price of its stock which has again reached 6 euros, after a period spent at around 4-4.50 euros. «TOP Tankers faces no problems, as it is one of the few listed companies with more than $100 million in cash reserves,» said Tsantakis, whose firm recently announced Q1 net profits of $947,000.