Frontline sees good Q1 after lower Q4 profit


Norwegian shipping tycoon John Fredriksen.

OSLO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Frontline (FRO.OL), the world’s biggest independent oil tanker shipping group, reported lower fourth-quarter profit, close to forecasts, due to weaker demand and said it expected results in the first quarter to be good.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) at the Oslo-listed shipping group dropped to $115 million from $153 million a year earlier. The result lagged an average forecast of a fall to $118 million in a Reuters poll of 11 analysts.

“Based on the trading results so far in the quarter, the board expects good results for the first quarter of 2009,” Bermuda-registered Frontline Ltd said.

Frontline, controlled by Norwegian shipping tycoon John Fredriksen, said it would pay a dividend of $0.25 per share for the quarter, lower than analysts’ average forecast of $0.45.

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