Stolt Offshore Reports 3Q Loss

Wednesday, October 15, 2003
Stolt Offshore reported a third-quarter loss on Wednesday and said again that its full-year loss could be deeper than previous guidance. Pre-tax losses for the three months to the end of August grew to $13.6 million from $12.4 million a year ago, said Stolt Offshore, which specialises in deep-water engineering. It said that uncertainty prevented it from giving fresh guidance but repeated in a statement that "losses for the year may be substantially higher than previously indicated." Stolt Offshore, which has been hit this year by troubled projects in Africa and Egypt, reported accumulated losses before taxes for the nine months to end-August billowed to $112.5 million from $4.9 million a year earlier. It said the uncertainties included receivables from largely completed contracts, the potential sell-off of asssets and businesses and possible decisions on asset write-downs in the fourth quarter. The firm said it had a low order intake during the quarter, with orders in hand shrinking to $1.2 billion by the end of the period from $1.8 billion a year earlier. It said it had orders of $334 million for the remainder of this year. Stolt-Nielsen, which owns 63.5 percent of Stolt Offshore, has said it might have been out of compliance with some financial covenants at the end of its third fiscal quarter because of exposure to the struggling unit. After the results, shares in Stolt Offshore fell 3.6 percent to 10.70 Norwegian crowns ($1.51) by 1215 GMT on the Oslo bourse, where the benchmark index was up one percent.

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