Grindrod Shipping, the Singapore-based bulker owner, has become the latest shipowner to reward its shareholders with its first substantial dividend. The Nasdaq-listed shipowner said it will payout 72 US cents per share to investors, a payout equivalent to 30% of the company’s net income for the third quarter. The Martyn Wade-led company booked a third quarter profit of just over $49m reversing the $14.7m loss reported in the corresponding period last year. The shipowner saw revenue increase by two-and-half-times year-on-year to $135.1m as its handysize and supramax/ultramax bulkers earned an average time charter equivalent (TCE) per day of $25,919 and $29,934 respectively.

Grindrod said the long-term charter-in costs per day for its supramax/ultramax fleet was $12,858 per day during the third quarter. During this period, out of 2,258 operating days in the supramax/ultramax segment, 61.6% were fulfilled with owned/long-term chartered-in vessels and the remaining 38.4% with short-term chartered-in tonnage. “During the third quarter of 2021, Grindrod Shipping achieved stronger results taking full advantage of the robust market conditions and our expanded owned fleet following the acquisition of the remaining portion of our IVS Bulk subsidiary,” said chief executive Martyn Wade. “We are particularly pleased to announce the declaration of our first quarterly cash dividend…under our new dividend and capital return policy of returning approximately 30% of our adjusted net income to our shareholders through a combination of share repurchase and dividends.”

During the quarter Grindrod completed the acquisition of the 2019 Japanese-built ultramax bulk carrier IVS Phoenix for $23.5m and the concurrent financing for $25m. The company said it holds purchase options for five of its long-term chartered-in vessels, below their prevailing market values, thereby presenting “highly attractive options” to grow its owned fleet. “The recent acquisition and financing of the IVS Phoenix during the quarter is a prime example of the advantages and benefits of this strategy,” the shipowner said. The five ships are the 62,660-dwt IVS Atsugi and IVS Pebble Beach (both built 2020), the 60,400-dwt IVS Hayakita (built 2016), the 57,810-dwt IVS Pinehurst (built 2015) and the 60,030-dwt IVS Naruo (built 2014).

The purchase option prices for each of the vessels is $25.2m, $25.2m, $24.4m, $18m and $16.1m respectively with the purchase options exercisable either from the third or fourth quarters of 2022. Grindrod owns 15 handysize bulkers and nine supramaxes. It also long-term charters in another seven supramaxes.