Nasdaq-listed Castor Maritime has seen profit shrink for the first quarter in weaker bulker markets.

The Cyprus-based owner also operated for most of March without its lucrative tanker fleet, which was spun off into Toro Corp.

Net profit came in at $10.8m for the three months ended 31 March, down from $20m a year ago.

But with the tankers stripped out, the continuing operation featuring 19 dry cargo carriers and two container ships turned in a loss of $6.5m, compared to a profit of $18.5m in 2022.

Overall revenue sank to $24.5m against $37.8m the year before as bulker rates fell.

Chief executive Petros Panagiotidis said: "The weakness in the dry cargo market during the first quarter affected our revenues and cash flows."

“However this can be explained mostly by seasonal factors. We believe that the dry bulk fundamentals remain healthy given the historically low orderbook and the improved outlook for the Chinese economy,” he added.

Castor sold two older bulkers during the period and will book "significant capital gains" in subsequent quarters, the CEO said.

The company's total debt amounted to $132m at the end of March, down from $140.5m at the end of 2022.

Of this, $34.7m is repayable within a year.

Big profits for spin-off

Toro Corp was listed on the Nasdaq exchange on 7 March.

The company has already announced a net profit of $22m, a rise of nearly 1,700% from $1.2m a year ago.

Revenue soared to $31.2m from $16.8m.

The result was driven largely by improved aframax/LR2 and handysize tanker markets.

Panagiotidis runs both companies.