Himalaya Shipping remained profitable in the opening three months of 2024 and is set to take delivery of its final newbuildings next month.

The Oslo and New York-listed bulker owner’s net profit hit $2.5m during the first quarter, down from $4.6m in the final three months of last year.

The company did not publicly publish 2023 first-quarter results last year.

Operating revenue grew quarter on quarter to $23.6m from $18.3m.

Himalaya began making its first monthly distributions to shareholders during the quarter and will pay out $0.04 per share for the month of April.

This is 1 cent more than was paid out for February and March, and 3 cents more than for January.

Chief executive Herman Billung said Himalaya “hopes these distributions can continue to increase with improving market conditions”.

Billung said he was “proud of the rapid development of the company”.

“By the end of June, upon the delivery of our remaining two newbuilds, we are expected to have a sailing fleet of 12 state-of-the-art vessels representing the youngest and most fuel-efficient dry bulk fleet on the water today,” he said.

“All vessels have been employed by reputable counterparties, with the index-linked charters earning on average a premium of 42.25% to the Baltic 5TC (BCI) index.”

Himalaya’s nine live vessels each earned a gross time charter equivalent rate of $30,600 per day on average during the first three months of the year.

The Baltic 5TC Capesize Index averaged $24,286 per day during the period.

Since the first quarter ended, Himalaya has taken delivery of another newcastlemax — the 210,000-dwt Mount Denali — from China’s New Times Shipyard, which brings its live fleet to 10 vessels.

Its final two newcastlemaxes will be delivered in June and will be named Mount Aconcagua and Mount Emai.

Four of Himalaya’s 10 vessels are employed on index-linked charters during the current quarter and the rest are earning fixed rates.

By the end of this year, 11 of the shipowner’s 12 vessels will be on index-linked employment.

The Mount Denali has begun an index-linked charter to a major commodity trading company that will run until the end of 2026 at the earliest.

Like other Himalaya charters, the contract includes a share of the benefits generated by the vessels’ scrubbers.