Nasdaq-listed Star Bulk Carriers has recouped a massive $250m outlay on scrubber retrofits in just two and a half years after logging a bumper second quarter profit.

The Greek supramax to capesize owner said net earnings to 30 June were $200m, up from $124m in the same period of 2021.

Revenue jumped to $417m from $311m in buoyant bulker markets.

The fleet of 128 ships averaged a rate of $30,451 per day, compared to $22,927 a year ago.

Chief executive Petros Pappas said the performance was “strong.”

He revealed the company has already booked 61% of available days for the third quarter at $29,000 per day.

“We are pleased to report that as of the end of June, we have earned back our $250m scrubber investment, within a span of 2.5 years,” Pappas added.

The figure includes all related capital expenditure, as well as the off-hire cost to install the equipment.

Profits locked in?

The CEO said that with 94% of the fleet being scrubber-fitted and the current fuel spread at very healthy levels, “these scrubbers should augment our profitability for the foreseeable future.”

Pappas believes ship supply is still limited, and upcoming environmental regulations will curb vessel ordering and speeds.

Star Bulk’s competitive operating costs and the scrubber-equipped fleet gives him cause for optimism on profit prospects, “despite a seemingly uncertain macroeconomic environment.”

Cash on the balance sheet stood at $385.6m at quarter end.

The board has declared a dividend of $1.65 per share.