zoomImage Courtesy: TORM Danish tanker shipping company TORM revealed it has entered into six new sale and leaseback transactions.With this move, the company intends to finance the purchase of four 2011-built MR vessels announced in June and support TORM’s capital structure.To be executed during the third quarter of this year, the transactions cover the four MR tankers slated for delivery this August. Providing proceeds of USD 66 million, the contracts have been signed with a Chinese counterpart and include a purchase obligation in 2025.What is more, the transactions cover the 2016-built MR vessels TORM Torino and TORM Titan, providing total proceeds of USD 52 million. In connection with the transactions, USD 18 million of the existing debt will be repaid. The relevant agreements have been signed with two separate Japanese counterparts and include a purchase obligation in 2024 for TORM Torino and in 2026 for TORM Titan, the company said.The sale and leaseback deals have been unveiled in the company’s financial results for the second quarter of this year. In Q2 2019, TORM delivered a profit of USD 5.2 million, compared to a loss of USD 8.9 million seen in the corresponding period a year earlier.Net profit for the first half of 2019 stood at USD 28.4 million, against a net loss of USD 8.2 million reported in H1 2018.Revenues rose to USD 166.3 million in Q2 2019 from USD 163.3 million posted in Q2 2018. Revenues also increased in the first half of this year to USD 352.7 million from USD 326.3 million recorded in H1 2018.”TORM’s results in the first half of 2019 reflect the company’s strong operating performance relative to its peers and our focus on maintaining efficient operations and a low cost base,” Jacob Meldgaard, Executive Director at TORM, commented.“Our profit before tax of USD 28.7m in the first half of 2019 represented the strongest half-year result in three years, and we are pleased to be able to generate a profit also in the second quarter of year that has been negatively impacted by an unusually high and prolonged refinery maintenance period,“ he explained.TORM further said that its board of directors believes that at this time the continued modernization of the fleet through newbuildings, purchase of second-hand tonnage and scrubber installations will provide for the optimal capital allocation.During the second quarter of 2019, TORM also took delivery of two MR newbuildings, sold the MR vessel TORM Gunhild and repaid debt of USD 4 million in connection with the vessel sale.After the quarter ended June 30, 2019, TORM has taken delivery of one MR newbuilding and sold two additional vessels, the MR vessel TORM San Jacinto and the Handy vessel TORM Saone for USD 16 million. TORM plans to repay debt of USD 9 million in connection with the vessel sales.IMO 2020The implementation deadline for the IMO 2020 sulfur regulation is approaching, and the shipping industry has to comply with the new regulation either by reducing sulfur emissions with scrubbers or by using compliant fuels.TORM’s ME Production China, a joint venture with scrubber manufacturer ME Production and Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI), which is part of the China State Shipbuilding Corporation Group, has helped the company make timely decisions on retrofit installations as TORM developed its compliance strategy.With close to half of the fleet being retrofitted with scrubbers and half of the fleet using compliant fuels, TORM said it has a balanced approach to the new regulation.“We have developed customized schedules for the vessels that will be using compliant fuels from 1 January 2020. As of 15 August 2019, TORM has conducted six scrubber installations, and by 1 January 2020, 28 out of 34 scheduled installations are expected to be finalized, with the remaining six consisting of three newbuilding deliveries and three retrofit installations,” the company said.“We believe the IMO 2020 regulation will drive increased demand for product tankers and that TORM is well-positioned to take advantage of these new market dynamics,” Meldgaard concluded.Founded in 1889, TORM operates a fleet of about 80 vessels.