The improving offshore market has helped Singapore’s Marco Polo Marine report a strong start to its current financial year on the back of higher charter and utilisation rates.

Gross profit for the three months to 31 December 2023 was up 75.8% to SGD 11.6m ($8.6m), while revenue increased 22.8% to SGD 29.1m.

The group’s operational performance in ship chartering improved year on year, while revenue from the shipyard segment experienced a marginal decrease.

Marco Polo said its ship chartering segment experienced higher average charter and utilisation rates for its offshore support vessels in the first quarter.

This resulted in a nine-point year-on-year increase in average utilisation rates and took operating capacity to 70%, the company said.

There was also increased rechartering of third-party vessels in the first quarter, significantly contributing to the group’s positive year-on-year revenue growth.

Marco Polo said its ship repair volume in the first quarter experienced a decline, which it attributed to the competitive reopening of China’s shipyards.

“The impact of lower ship repair revenues was mitigated by the sustained momentum in shipbuilding activities carried over from the previous quarter,” it said.

Looking ahead, Marco Polo said the South East Asian OSV market remains robust due to high demand from offshore wind farms and the oil and gas industries.

The company said it anticipates this trend to persist and underpin higher average utilisation rates. Meanwhile, it expects the outlook for its shipyard segment to remain positive as the group foresees ship repair volumes picking up with the stabilisation of China’s reopening.

“We are pleased with our first-quarter performance as our ship chartering segment extended its growth momentum, thanks to increased charter rates and vessel utilisation,” said Marco Polo chief executive Sean Lee.

“Despite minor headwinds in the shipyard segment, we are confident in our overall expansion strategy and expect a continued robust performance in the year ahead,” he added.