Swiss trader and charterer Mercuria Energy Group is reported to be eyeing expansion in LNG and power markets after logging huge earnings for 2023.

Bloomberg cited sources familiar with the matter as putting profit at $2.7bn last year, more than double any other result in the past, barring a record 2022, which was 10% higher.

In common with other commodities groups, Mercuria has benefited from volatility in prices due to geopolitical upheaval.

It has been on a recruitment drive, adding experienced staff as co-founders Marco Dunand and Daniel Jaeggi plot the next generation of leaders.

The Geneva-based company is also said to want to expand its LNG and power books.

The giant charterer owns a suezmax tanker and a bunker vessel.

TradeWinds reported that larger rival Vitol announced its second-best annual result this week, with profit of about $13bn.

Regional shortages and rerouted oil and gas cargoes due to Houthi attacks in the Red Sea have boosted gains for commodities companies.

Mercuria has been contacted for further information.

The group said last week it was investing $200m in MN8 Energy, a solar and battery storage company in the US.

And in March, the company moved its main African bunkering base to Mauritius because of problems in South Africa.

As more vessels head around the Cape of Good Hope, the group set up shop in Port Louis, Reuters reported.

Refuelling operations in South Africa’s Algoa Bay were shut down last year in a tax dispute with the domestic authorities.

Algoa Bay is the country’s only zone for offshore ship-to-ship bunkering using small tankers.

The South African Revenue Service has detained bunker tankers and suspended refuelling operations for BP, Mercuria’s Minerva Bunkering and Trafigura’s Heron Marine pending an audit, sources said.