Nasdaq-listed Castor Maritime has plenty of ammunition for its next move in shipping markets.

The Cyprus-based bulker and container ship owner revealed in its fourth-quarter report that its cash position stood at $120.9m at 31 December.

This is up $11m over the three-month period and is likely to rise further as more vessels are handed over to new owners.

Chief executive Petros Panagiotidis said: “In the fourth quarter of 2023 we continued with the disposition of certain of our older dry cargo vessels in order to improve the profile of our fleet.”

“We enjoy a strong balance sheet and we remain committed to our growth trajectory by seeking further opportunities in the shipping space, including opportunities to modernise our fleet,” he added.

Castor’s total debt has been cut to $86.6m, of which $20.5m is repayable within a year.

At the end of 2022 the figure was $140.5m, but loans have been settled early with vessel disposal cash.

Net profit came in at $25m in the fourth quarter, up from $7.8m a year ago.

Annual earnings were down at $21.3m, against $66.5m in 2022.

Revenue was down at $26.4m from $31.3m, but the bottom line was boosted by $19m from other income, including ship sales.

“In 2023, we once more generated positive operating cash flows despite a weaker dry cargo market compared to 2022,” Panagiotidis said.

Two more bulkers sold

Castor will have a fleet of 12 ships when recent disposals go through, including kamsarmaxes, panamaxes and two feedermax boxships.

The company controlled 31 ships at its peak, following a huge expansion between 2019 and 2022.

The tanker fleet was later spun off into US-listed affiliate Toro Corp, which has profitably sold some of them since while expanding into small LPG carriers.

At the end of January, Castor sold two bulkers to a member of Panagiotidis’ family at a profit.

The 78,800-dwt Magic Nova and 76,600-dwt Magic Horizon (both built 2010) have gone for $16.1m for $15.8m, respectively.

The Magic Nova was bought in October 2021 from Triton Navigation of the Netherlands for $13.86m, while the Magic Horizon came from the fleet of Greece’s Soloi Inc in July 2020 for $12.75m.