LONDON, April 7, 2011 - Stolt-Nielsen Limited (Oslo Børs: SNI) today reported unaudited results for the first quarter ended February 28, 2011. Net profit attributable to shareholders in the first quarter was $31.2 million, with revenue of $458.7 million, compared with $33.0 million and $459.4 million, respectively, in the fourth quarter of 2010.
Highlights for the first quarter of 2011, compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, were:
* Stolt Tankers reported an operating loss of $1.0 million, compared with an operating profit of $11.0 million. First-quarter results reflected the impact of higher bunker fuel prices, weather-related delays and port congestion.
* The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index was 1.09, compared with 1.17.
* Stolthaven Terminals' operating profit rose to $16.5 million from $14.4 million, driven by revenue growth at the division's wholly owned terminals and lower operating expenses.
* Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $18.5 million, down from $21.0 million, though underlying market dynamics remained strong.
* Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating profit of $1.5 million, down from $3.9 million, reflecting the negative impact of $1.9 million from the fair value accounting for inventories, compared with a prior positive impact of $2.5 million.
* Stolt-Nielsen Gas reported a gain of $15.1 million related to the sale of 50% of Avance Gas Holding Ltd. (Avance Gas) to Sungas Holdings Ltd. and the subsequent acquisition by the resulting joint venture, Avance Gas, of three very large gas carriers (VLGCs) from Sungas and related settlements.
Commenting on the Company's results, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of SNL, said:
"SNL's first-quarter results were disappointing, as the performance of Stolt Tankers was affected by the impact of higher bunker fuel prices, unusually severe weather-related delays and port congestion in a number of key ports, particularly Houston. In contrast, Stolthaven Terminals reported another good quarter, with improvements in demand, rates and utilisation. At Stolt Tank Containers, market fundamentals remained strong, though first-quarter results were softer, consistent with seasonal patterns. Stolt Sea Farm also had a good quarter, driven by holiday sales and lower supplies from competitors."
"While we continue to expect healthy performances from our terminal and tank container businesses, we repeat our outlook for the tanker market: We believe 2011 is going to be a more challenging year than 2010, and we do not expect any meaningful recovery until 2013. With our recent second-hand ship acquisitions we believe Stolt Tankers is well positioned to benefit from the eventual market recovery."
"Subsequent to quarter end, Avance Gas Holding Ltd., a joint venture between Sungas Holdings Ltd. and Stolt-Nielsen Gas, finally started seeing improvements in demand for shipment of LPG in VLGCs. Avance Gas operates five VLGCs and is well positioned to benefit from this increased demand, having four ships in the spot market."
 The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index is an indexed measurement of the sailed-in rate for the Joint Service and was set at 1.00 in the first quarter of 1990 based on the average sailed-in time-charter result for the fleet at the time. The sailed-in rate is a measure frequently used by shipping companies, which subtracts from the ships' operating revenue the variable costs associated with a voyage, primarily commissions, sublets, external time charter expenses, transshipments, port costs, and bunker fuel.