Navios Maritime Partners revealed on Tuesday that it has boosted its owned fleet by declaring options on four kamsarmax bulkers it has on charter.

Exercised in March at a total cost of $116.6m, the options are for the scrubber-fitted 81,000-dwt Navios Amber (built 2015), 81,600-dwt Navios Citrine and Navios Dolphin (both built 2017) and 84,900-dwt Navios Coral (built 2016).

The announcement comes as chief executive Angeliki Frangou declared that Navios achieved its strongest performance ever for a first quarter, with adjusted net income of $71.5m up 8.8% from the same period last year.

This figure excludes gains from vessel sales, which distort the year-on-year comparison.

Including that item, the company’s bottom-line net income stood at $73.4m compared with $99.2m in the first quarter of last year, when Navios had booked $33.5m in vessel sale gains.

Busy secondhand activity is a hallmark of Navios policy as the company renews its fleet.

It has already raised about $680m from divesting 28 bulkers, tankers or container ships in confirmed sales since the summer of 2022, when Frangou formed Navios Partners to bring the fleets of former affiliates Navios Maritime Holdings, Navios Maritime Containers and Navios Maritime Acquisition under the same roof.

The latest of these confirmed sales concerns the 76,600-dwt N Bonanza (built 2006), which changed hands for about $11.9m.

The tally of the sales will rise to 31 ships for total proceeds of about $745m if Navios eventually confirms recent broker reports linking it to more sales, including the 58,100-dwt Navios Christine B and Navios Celestial (both built 2009) and 4,253-teu Navios Lapis (built 2009).

However, the company did not confirm any of these deals on Tuesday.

Despite expressing her pleasure with the company’s result, Frangou urged caution.

The “maritime environment” is currently “robust”, helped by regional conflict in the Middle East and “generally healthy” economies in the US and Europe — but this “can change quickly”, she said in the earnings statement.

Reiterating previous statements, the Greek shipowner said she is focusing on “things [she] can control”, such as reducing leverage and modernising her fleet with a spate of 26 tanker and container ship newbuildings she is already starting to take delivery of.

As a further precaution, Frangou said she is locking in lucrative freight rates that are currently “around or exceeding long-term averages”.

“For example, we recently chartered out a capesize vessel for 2.9 years at a net daily rate of $28,500 [per day],” Frangou said.

Navios Partners’ shares closed trading at a more than eight-year high of $48.66 per share in New York on Monday, which gives the company a market value of $1.47bn.

That, however, is still far below the $3.75bn net fleet value on the company’s books as of the end of March.

Frangou is the single biggest shareholder in the firm she is leading, with a 16.7% stake.

Darren Maupin-controlled Pilgrim Global Advisors is a close second, owning 16.3% of the company. Ned Sherwood, a vocal critic of management, holds a 5.4% stake.

Navios Partners already announced late in April that it was maintaining its dividend payment steady for a 16th consecutive quarter at $0.05 per common unit.

Download the TradeWinds News app
The News app offers you more control over your TradeWinds reading experience than any other platform.