Norway’s Ocean Yield is continuing to examine potential sale-and-leaseback deals as earnings grow.

The shipowner, controlled by US private equity giant KKR, said in its fourth-quarter report that it has a strong balance sheet, with an equity ratio of 28.2% and $115.8m in cash.

Net profit increased to $23.3m, up from $21.1m in the same period of 2022.

Revenue grew to $59.8m versus $55.4m.

In the final three months, Ocean Yield bought a 2016-built suezmax for charter to Nordic American Tankers, and two 2022-built suezmaxes backed by charters to Euronav.

Chief executive Andreas Rode said the fourth quarter was another active one, with Ocean Yield continuing to deliver strong results.

“The company is selectively evaluating new investments in vessels with long-term charters, while always taking the cyclicality of the underlying shipping segments into account,” he added.

In the first quarter of this year, the company has signed two loan agreements for the long-term financing of two newcastlemax newbuildings with long-term charters to Belgium’s Compagnie Maritime Belge.

It did not provide financial details.

The fleet stands at 68 vessels, including tankers, bulkers, car carriers, container ships and gas carriers.

$400m invested

In total, the company committed more than $400m to new projects during the year, including four LR1 product tanker newbuildings.

Eight ships were sold, and options have been declared by charterers for four other vessels that will be delivered during 2024 — one car carrier, two suezmax tankers and a chemical tanker.

All vessels are chartered out on long-term contracts.

The Ebitda charter backlog at the end of 2023 was $4.2bn, with an average remaining contract duration of 10.2 years.

The company is also sounding out investors over a new perpetual US dollar bond issue, it said in a separate filing on Thursday.