EuroDry sees market uncertainties driven by the pandemic, the war in Ukraine and pending environmental regulations as the perfect circumstances in which to keep growing its dry bulk fleet.

While others are staying on the asset-play sidelines, the Athens shipowner plans to bring on more vessels after increasing its fleet to 11 bulkers last month.

“Within this environment, we are pursuing opportunities to grow our fleet in accretive ways and manage our profitability to maximise the rewards to our shareholders,” chief executive Aristides Pittas said.

“Our optimism is based on the limited supply of vessels, which is the result, in the near term, of the continuing inefficiencies in the transportation system from the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis in the medium term, of the historically low orderbook, which is near the lowest levels of the last 25 years expressed as a percentage of the fleet.

“In addition to the above, the effects of the upcoming application of environmental regulations could further restrict the supply of vessels over the next several years.”

In April, New York-listed EuroDry acquired the 76,440-dwt Santa Cruz (built 2005) for $15.8m with its own funds, its second secondhand purchase this year.

The panamax, in which EuroDry had a minority interest and which is managed through sister outfit Eurobulk, came fixed at $14,800 per day to the end of July.

“Despite the challenging global economic and geopolitical environment, during the first quarter of 2022, our vessels were employed at very profitable rates, the highest compared to any period of the last 12 years except the second half of 2021,” Pittas said.

Time charter equivalent rates for the first quarter averaged $24,636 per day, up 65% from the same period last year.

That high figure helped the shipowner to earn $10.5m in net income attributable to common shareholders for the quarter, compared with $444,956 a year earlier.

Adjusted net income attributable to common shareholders came in at $9.5m against $1.69m a year earlier.

As a result, diluted adjusted earnings per share were $3.30 compared with $0.55 for the first three months of 2021.

Revenue totalled $18.3m, compared with $8.57m a year earlier.

“This was the result of higher average charter rates by 65.1% earned during the quarter as compared to the first quarter of 2021 and the increased number of vessels owned and operated in the first quarter of 2022 as compared to the same period of 2021,” chief financial officer Tasos Aslidis said.