German shipowner and asset manager MPC Munchmeyer Petersen Capital is working on more shipping decarbonisation deals this year.

The Hamburg group moved into the methanol-powered container ship space in 2021, ordering four 5,500-teu vessels in South Korea.

It later sold three of these to Norwegian leaseback owner Ocean Yield.

The units are chartered to Israel’s Zim over seven years and are being delivered this year and in 2024 by HJ Shipbuilding & Construction.

But fees from managing these disposals could not stop first-quarter pre-tax profit declining to €4.1m ($4.48m) from €22.1m last year as MPC Capital reduced its property portfolio.

Overall, there was a “significant increase” in recurring management fees to €6.4m to €7.4m, in particular through further expansion of renewables and shipping activities.

MPC Capital also noted sustained high returns from co-investments.

The profit margin was 48%, while revenue dipped to €8.6m from €10.7m a year earlier.

“In a challenging macroeconomic market environment, MPC Capital’s business model has continued to prove very robust,” the company said.

Its cash position was almost unchanged at €69.4m at quarter-end.

Lower cost base

Profit before tax is expected to be between €15m and €20m this year, due to a lower cost base and continued high income from co-investments.

The main focus of business activities in 2023 will be on the further expansion of the investment platform for decarbonising shipping.

“In a challenging market environment, we have managed to maintain our profitability at a high level. And we are convinced that we will be able to expand it even further over the year,” added chief executive Ulf Hollander.

“We see a strong long-term increase in demand for investments in sustainable real assets.

“Achieving global climate targets requires immense investments in alternative forms of energy generation, energy efficiency or the climate-neutral renewal of maritime infrastructure.”

MPC Capital also has shareholdings in vessel managers Wilhelmsen Ahrenkiel Ship Management and Harper Petersen.