On 1 October 2023, Kristian Sørensen took over as Chief Executive Officer of BW LPG from Anders Onarheim. From all of us at BW LPG, we thank Anders for everything he has done during his tenure. The company has never been more solid, and the strategic decisions he made have created considerable value for our clients and shareholders.
As testament to Anders’ leadership, he leaves a strong team to continue the work he began, with Kristian at the helm. Kristian joined BW LPG as Deputy CEO and Head of Strategy in September 2022. He has over 20 years of experience in the LPG shipping industry where he has held several commercial and management positions. He started his career as a shipbroker in Lorentzen & Stemoco in 2002 before joining Inge Steensland AS (today Steem1960) in 2004 as a broker and later partner and Head of Gas department. From 2010-2013, he was responsible for expanding and heading its Singapore office. In 2016 he became CEO of Norwegian broking house Fearnleys, and also served as Deputy Group CEO for the Astrup Fearnley Group until 2021, when he joined Avance Gas as CEO. Kristian spent two years in the Royal Norwegian Navy as a graduate of the Junior Naval Academy and holds a “Siviløkonom” degree from the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH).
Says Kristian, “It is with great excitement and gratitude that I take over the baton from Anders as CEO. We have prepared for this change in leadership, and it remains business as usual for many of us. I’ve had the privilege to see many of our employees in action – their passion, dedication, and expertise are the backbone of the organization, and I am honored to lead this exceptional team.”
He adds, “Although shipping remains our core business, BW LPG has over the last years significantly broadened our scope of activity across the LPG value chain and we are well positioned for future growth. In 2023, our shipping business started the year by delivering the highest historical daily TCE on record with US$60,900 per available day. Together with our partners, our expanded VLGC pool allows us to capture value in the buoyant market, our India business continues delivering steady returns, and our Product Services business is developing nicely. We are seeing sharp improvements in the uptime on running our retrofits on LPG, which is providing significant fuel savings and reductions in CO2 and other emissions.”
In this favorable market, we continue to generate substantial free cash flow and our balance sheet is rock solid. Reflecting this, we did a share buy-back through a reverse book building process in June, and we continue to return capital to our shareholders through attractive dividends. For the first half of 2023, we will have distributed nearly NOK 20 per share. This equals an annualized dividend yield of about 30 percent.
Says Kristian, “From all of us at BW LPG, you can expect us to keep a steady course and we look forward to your continued support for our company, as we deliver cleaner-burning energy to world markets while we create value for our clients and shareholders.”