Newcastlemax owner 2020 Bulkers logged a profitable start to this year, but its results show seasonally softer earnings. The Oslo-listed shipowner reported net income of $5.9m for the first quarter of 2022, equivalent to $0.27 in basic earnings per share. This is up by $100,000 compared to the first three months of 2021.

The firm has declared total cash distributions of $0.26 per share for the months of January, February, and March — much less than the $1.20 per share paid for the final quarter last year. It has declared dividends or cash distributions for 21 consecutive months.

2020 Bulkers’ vessel revenue during the first quarter totaled $16.8m, just $200,000 less than during the same three months last year during the seasonal lull in capesize and newcastlemax markets. This equates to gross average time-charter equivalent (TCE) earnings of about $24,000 per day — less than half of the average $52,900 per day the fleet earned during the final quarter of last year. During the second quarter so far, 2020 Bulkers said its fleet is earning a gross average TCE rate of $23,000 per day.

In January, index-linked charters for two of 2020 Bulkers’ ships that are on long-term charter to Koch were converted to fixed-rate employment for the rest of 2022. The 208,400-dwt Bulk Shanghai (built 2019) will earn a gross daily rate of $30,905 between February and December. The 208,400-dwt Bulk Shenzhen (built 2020) will earn $32,378 during the same period.

2020 Bulkers this month transferred its eight newcastlemaxes from subsidiaries domiciled in Liberia to Norwegian limited-liability subsidiaries. Meanwhile, Georgina Sousa retired as 2020 Bulkers’ director and company secretary on March 1 and has been succeeded by Mi Hong Yoon.