Stolt-Nielsen Reports "Disappointing" Q1 Results

MarineLink.com
Thursday, April 03, 2014
Photo: Stolt-Nielsen

Stolt-Nielsen Limited today reported unaudited results for the first quarter ended February 28, 2014, which included lower cargo volumes and down profits in most markets.

Net profit attributable to shareholders in the first quarter was $18.6 million, with revenue of $516.7 million, compared with $36.7 million, with revenue of $524.5 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2013, the company said.

Commenting on the company's results, Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said, "Stolt-Nielsen Limited's results for the first quarter were disappointing, particularly at Stolt Tankers, where both the spot and contract volumes were lower than normal, reducing fleet utilization (tons per operating day). In addition, adverse winter weather conditions in Houston and a number of Western European ports caused substantial delays. This, combined with a lack of spot cargo that resulted in ships sailing light, held down performance at Stolt Tankers.”

Stolt Tankers reported an operating profit of $9.8 million for the first quarter of 2014, down from $15.8 million compared with the fourth quarter of 2013, due to lower contract volumes and increased port delays caused by adverse winter weather conditions. For the same period, the Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index was 1.35, compared with 1.39.

Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of $18.9 million, up from $15.5 million, which the company said mainly reflects the impact of $2.9 million of business interruption income and $2.1 million of other insurance income related to damage at Stolthaven New Orleans caused by Hurricane Isaac in August 2012.

Stolt Tank Containers’ operating profit fell to $15.1 million in Q1 2014, down from $19.8 million in Q4 2013, mainly due to seasonal softness in most markets.

Reporting an increase, Stolt Sea Farm recorded an operating profit of $1.4 million, up from $0.4 million, reflecting seasonally strong caviar sales and a $1.2 million one-time adjustment to depreciation, partially offset by the negative impact of $1 million from the accounting for inventories at fair value in the first quarter, compared with a positive impact of $0.1 million in the fourth quarter.

Avance Gas Holding Ltd. (AGHL) filed its listing application with the Oslo Børs on March 31, with a targeted listing date of April 15. The road show for the IPO started on March 31 and the offering is expected to close on April 8.  

Stolt-Nielsen continued, “Notwithstanding the disappointing first quarter volumes at Stolt Tankers, we believe the underlying positive trend that started in the second half 2013 will resume as the year progresses. At Stolthaven Terminals, the construction of additional storage capacity was completed in New Orleans, Houston, Australia and Singapore. Although most of the added capacity is already contracted out, the final commissioning of the tanks has taken longer than expected. Stolt Tank Containers' results were consistent with the seasonal softness we normally experience in the first quarter. Conditions in Stolt Sea Farm's key markets remain challenging, with a main competitor bringing large amounts of culled fish to market due to production issues, driving down prices in the process."

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