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Tsakos Energy Navigation Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises

Tsakos Energy Navigation, a Greek shipper of crude oil and petroleum products, said Monday its fourth-quarter profit rose 27%, as a larger fleet offset a softer market and higher operating costs.

Quarterly earnings increased to $77.1 million, or $4.05 per share, from $60.8 million, or $3.16 per share during the same period in 2005. Voyage revenue grew 25% to $111.6 million from $89.4 million.

The company said its fleet size expanded to an average of 37 vessels from 25.3 vessels during the same period a year earlier. Average daily charter rates fell 20% to $29,796 from $35,388, as a mild winter in the northern hemisphere and high oil inventories in the U.S. combined to create a softer market than during the year-ago period.

Tsakos Energy also said operating expenses per vessel per day increased 9% to $7,811 from $7,134, due mostly to higher lubricant costs and a weaker dollar.

Annual earnings rose 21% to $196.4 million, or $10.30 per share, from $161.8 million, or $8.18 per share in 2005. Voyage revenue advanced 45% to $427.7 million from $295.6 million.

Tsakos Energy shares rose $1.20, or 2.6%, to $48.20 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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