Toro Corp has reported a huge increase in profit in its first result since its spin-off from Castor Maritime in March.

The Nasdaq-listed, Cyprus-based tanker company said net earnings in the first quarter were $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.

The average daily time charter equivalent rate was $45,252, compared with an average of $11,838 during the same period last year.

Chief executive Petros Panagiotidis said: “We enjoyed a robust charter market in tankers during the quarter, which allowed us to enjoy a record net income.

“After the end of the quarter, we successfully raised new capital and then acquired four modern LPG vessels, signifying our entry into the gas market, which we believe offers promising prospects.”

The company had cash and restricted cash of $67.9m as of 31 March, up from $42.5m the year before.

The CEO said: “We will continue to seek opportunities to profitably grow our business.”

The profit has been achieved without a total gain of nearly $63m from selling three older aframax/LR2 ships after the quarter ended.

Three out, four in

The 115,300-dwt aframaxes Wonder Bellatrix (built 2006) and Wonder Polaris (built 2005) are leaving the fleet for a combined $71.5m in a deal first reported by TradeWinds.

The net gain is expected to be $42.9m.

Toro also made a $19.6m gain from selling the 106,200-dwt Wonder Avior (built 2004) for $30.1m earlier in May.

The four LPG vessels have been acquired from Greece’s StealthGas, brokers reported.