Trading giant Gunvor Group has seen earnings soar to a new record as it gained from natural gas and LNG business.

The Swiss company, which is also a major shipowner and charterer, said net profit last year jumped to $726m, up from $320m in 2020.

Revenue rose to $135bn against $50bn the year before.

Traded volumes hit 240m tonnes, up from 191m tonnes in 2020.

The revenue rise reflected these increases in volumes and the prices of commodities, Gunvor said.

“Underlying profit drivers included natural gas and LNG, which generated sustainable earnings throughout the year,” the company added.

“Gunvor continued to strengthen its balance sheet and maintains a healthy liquidity position.”

The group pledged to phase out its own non-eco ships in 2021, and severely limit the number of older vessels it charters in.

The company revealed last year in its first sustainability report that 100% of owned ships will be eco tonnage by 2022 — and only 25% of the time-chartered fleet will be non-eco ships over the same time frame.

Before 2027, Gunvor has promised to have a 100%-eco chartered fleet.

Muriel Schwab is CFO at Gunvor Group. She was previously at Rabobank. Photo: LinkedIn

The company said on Wednesday that it “remains on track with its energy transition strategy, as well as its goal of cutting Scope 1 and 2 emissions 40% by 2025.”

The group, through its subsidiary Clearlake Shipping, has already begun to transform its vessel profile.

Gunvor’s owned fleet used to consist of 73% non-eco ships.

The group, which is owned and led by chief executive Torbjorn Tornqvist, owns or operates more than 100 vessels, including tankers.

The fleet also includes a “sizeable” number of managed LNG ships, and Tornqvist has said the sheer volume of its gas trading creates “substantial optionality” in the spot market.

Gunvor has previously said it has no significant exposure in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

The group maintains it is legally obliged to fulfil existing trading contracts with Russian clients, however, despite calls from Ukrainian ministers to halt all business there.

“No new business is being conducted,” Gunvor said.

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