The strong product tanker markets helped Gulf Navigation return to profit last year, newly released figures from the shipowner show.

The Dubai-listed company booked net income of AED 21m ($5.7m) for 2023 against a loss of AED 7.6m in the previous financial year.

This was despite gross revenues for the year decreasing by 23% to AED 106m due to necessary repairs and vessel dry-dockings.

“The great results achieved by the company over the past year confirm the success of our long-term growth strategy,” said chief executive Ahmed Kilani.

These included improving vessel performance and continuing to focus on a growth strategy and diversification of sources of income, in addition to reducing the cost of debt.

Kilani also highlighted the company’s successful capital raise last year which brought in AED 838m following the issuance of 200m new shares.

“The new funds will contribute to increasing and modernising Gulf Navigation’s fleet of petrochemical tankers and enhancing the company’s ability to own and manage these types of vessels,” he said.

“We succeeded in the implementation of the capital increase process and transforming the company from loss-making to profit-making within three years.”

Looking ahead, Kilani said one of the company’s future objectives is to focus on modern technology and environmentally friendly initiatives.

“This includes a focus on achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, in accordance with recommendations from relevant local and international authorities,” he said.

Despite the challenges facing the shipping sector due to geopolitical tensions, Kilani said he was confident in the company’s ability to continue achieving strong results and maintaining the growth momentum.

Late last year, Gulf Navigation teamed up with Italy’s Scorpio Group to launch ship management joint venture company Black Marlin Ship Management & Operation.

The new operation, which will handle eight ships initially, four from each partner, is designed to leverage the capabilities and experience of both owners.

December 2023 also saw Gulf Navigation acquire a 40% stake in a maritime agency services company Gulf Navigation Polimar Maritime (GNPM), which started as a joint venture with Turkish Polimar Holding Company.

GNPM provides agency services in all terminals and commercial ports in the United Arab Emirates, handling all types of vessels and cargoes.

GNPM also manages Gulf Navigation’s four offshore support vessels that are used to transport offshore support personnel and cargo.

Gulf Navigation has four 2008-2009-built chemical tankers, plus a well-stimulation ship, four crew transfer vessels and a livestock carrier.