Norway's GC Rieber Shipping has returned to profit in the second quarter thanks to selling a research ship.

Net earnings were NOK 93.9m ($10.46m) to 30 June, from a loss of NOK 9m in 2018.

Revenue grew to NOK 91.9m from NOK 60.7m over the same period.

It banked NOK 101.57m from the disposal of the icebreaking research vessel Ernest Shackleton (built 1995) to Italy's Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale (OGS).

No sale price was disclosed.

Fleet utilisation reached 100% in the second quarter.

"We are very pleased with achieving full utilisation in the second quarter for our subsea and ice support vessels. Despite an uptick in rates and activity for the summer season, the offshore market remains challenging with current market rates at an unsustainable level," said CEO Einar Ytredal.

"In the marine seismic market, Shearwater has seen increased tendering activity with a positive effect on utilisation levels and pricing."

The subsea and ice support vessels have contract coverage of 44% for the remainder of the year, while affiliate Shearwater GeoServices has a confirmed backlog of more than 26 vessel-months in the third and fourth quarters following the award of multiple seismic acquisition contracts.

The company operates 12 ships and has direct and indirect ownership in 22.