Sea1 Offshore is set to lose $72m in contract backlog following the departure of former chairman Kristian Siem.

The former Siem Offshore said in its first-quarter earnings report that its contract backlog fell to $507m from $579m after Siem agreed to swap nine ships for his 35.7% stake at the beginning of the second quarter, making way for Christen Sveaas to take control of the company.

The deal leaves Oslo-listed Sea1 with 17 vessels, including six platform supply vessels and nine anchor handling tug supply vessels.

For the first quarter, it reported an $11.6m profit, down from $30.4m for the corresponding period last year.

The drop came even as revenue rose from $76.5m to $83.2m year over year. Dry-docking expenses for three vessels and higher financial expenses pulled the top line down.

Still, the company said the first quarter went as expected, with activity picking up as the northern hemisphere warmed.

“The North Sea spot market was, as is usual during the winter months, characterised by limited utilisation within the AHTS and PSV segment,” the company said.

Sea1 noted that the PSV market was particularly difficult and the AHTS market is expected to be volatile.

“The subsea segment was very tight and the competition between renewable projects and traditional oil and gas campaigns is starting to produce results in terms of improved utilisation, also in the winter season,” it said.

Before the split, Sveaas owned 33.3% of the company, a stake he took in March 2022.

In early April, Siem Offshore announced the agreement with Siem, who described the situation as “two major shareholders with different values, culture and objectives”.

Last Tuesday, at the annual general meeting, Sveaas was elected chairman alongside at least one other ally and the Siem Offshore name was dropped in favour of Sea1.

Sveaas is the magnate behind investment firm Kistefos, with has an 80% stake in Sweden-registered AHTS specialist Viking Supply Ships.

He has also been fighting against a refinancing plan for Solstad Offshore, in which rival Kjell Inge Rokke took a controlling stake in exchange for an injection of capital.

Sveaas has argued that the deal is bad for shareholders and has threatened legal action.

As for Siem, he will take three AHTS units, four PSVs and two offshore subsea construction units, plus $118m in debt on the vessels.

He remains chairman of Subsea7.