Stolt reports profit decline

Stolt-Nielsen Limited today reported unaudited results for the first quarter ended February 29, 2012.  Net profit attributable to shareholders in the first quarter was $8.0 million, with revenue of $505.7 million, compared with $22.2 million and $512.9 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Highlights for the first quarter of 2012, compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, were:

  • Stolt Tankers reported an operating loss of $8.6 million, compared with an operating profit of $7.0 million, due to lower utilisation (tons/day) of the deep sea fleet, ships taken out of service for unscheduled dry-dock repairs, weaker results in the regional fleets, and increased ship management costs.
  • The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index[1] slipped to 1.05, after holding steady at 1.08 for two quarters.
  • Stolthaven Terminals’ operating profit of $23.3 million, up from $18.0 million, reflected a gain of $5.8 million related to the acquisition of a terminal in Moerdijk, The Netherlands.
  • Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $19.2 million, down from $19.7 million, reflecting a modest decrease in margins and higher administrative and general (A&G) expenses.
  • Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating loss of $2.7 million, compared with an operating loss of $1.9 million, due to lower turbot prices.
  • Stolt-Nielsen Gas reported a loss of $1.2 million on its investment in Avance Gas Holding Ltd (AGHL), compared with equity income of $2.5 million, as conditions temporarily softened in the VLGC (very large gas carrier) market.

Commenting on the Company’s results, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of SNL, said:

“The weakness in Stolt-Nielsen Limited’s first-quarter results was for the most part attributable to weak markets overall for Stolt Tankers.  Higher operating costs and weak volumes, particularly on trade lanes to Europe and the Americas from Asia and in the regional European trades, held down Stolt Tankers’ performance for the quarter.  In addition, five ships were withdrawn from service for unscheduled repairs during the quarter, resulting in a substantial loss of operating days.  In contrast, results at both Stolthaven Terminals and Stolt Tank Containers remained good and in line with expectations.  Stolt Sea Farm posted a loss, due to lower turbot prices in the quarter.”

“We continue to anticipate a slow improvement in the parcel tanker market.  In the meantime we are continuing to invest in our terminal, tank container and fish farming businesses, where we see promising opportunities for growth.  Given the actions we have taken to enhance our financial strength and liquidity, I believe we are well equipped to pursue our long-term growth plans.”