Gunvor Group Ltd (“Gunvor”), one of the world’s leading independent commodities trading houses, today released results for the year ended 31 December 2019:
Gunvor’s performance in 2019 was broad-based across all geographies and trading desks, and as a result the company realized strong trading gross profit. Key drivers included:
Importantly, the overhaul Gunvor undertook in 2017/2018 to improve risk management and corporate governance enabled the company to effectively take advantage of favorable market conditions throughout the year. Gunvor subsequently entered 2020 with a strong balance sheet and liquidity position to meet the unexpected events, and posted a profit for the first quarter.
Thanks to early preparedness, Gunvor seamlessly transitioned to work-from-home at all offices across the globe, and trading activities remained unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has continued to hire and undertake all normal core business operations. Trading performance remains strong across all geographies and desks, including shipping (with more than 100 vessels owned or under long-term charter). The European refining sector is expected to remain challenging for the foreseeable future.
Regardless of the current market environment, Gunvor continues to view the long-term challenge for companies in the physical energy commodities trading sector to be effectively positioning themselves within the “energy transition.” In 2019, “transitional” commodities (i.e., natural gas, LNG, LPG, and biofuels) comprised 45% of total trading activity (compared with “traditional” crude oil and oil products), an increase from 28% the year prior. Gunvor also acquired two biofuel plants, and committed to no longer physically trading coal, activities which ceased in 2018. The company is now actively measuring its CO2 footprint while devising a sustainability plan. Gunvor is on target to substantially reduce its CO2 footprint in 2020, and will continue to work toward continuous reductions year-over-year.