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Lower Tanker Rates Hurt Stolt-Nielsen Limited Results

Stolt-Nielsen Limited reported unaudited results for the fourth quarter ended November 30, 2018. Net profit attributable to shareholders in the fourth quarter was $3.6 million, with revenue of $526.1 million, compared with a net profit of $3.0 million, with revenue of $543.1 million, in the third quarter of 2018. Net profit attributable to shareholders for 2018 was $54.9 million, with revenue of $2,125.5 million, compared with $50.3 million, with revenue of $1,997.1 million in 2017.

Highlights for the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with the third quarter of 2018, were:

  • Stolt Tankers reported an operating profit of $7.7 million, down from $21.4 million, mainly reflecting lower freight revenue combined with higher bunker fuel costs and a $4.1 million loss on bunker hedges, compared with a $1.3 million bunker-hedge gain in the prior period.
  • The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index was 0.53, compared with 0.58 in the third quarter.
  • Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of $11.7 million, down from $18.6 million, reflecting $6.1 million in impairments in the fourth quarter, and a $1.7 million decrease in equity income from joint ventures.
  • Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $18.1 million, up from $17.7 million. Operating profit rose, despite lower revenue, mainly due to improved operational efficiencies.
  • Stolt Sea Farm’s operating profit before the fair-value adjustment of inventories was $0.9 million versus $2.1 million, due to lower volume sold ahead of the peak Christmas sales season.
  • Corporate and Other included an operating loss of $11.9 million, compared with a loss of $3.4 million in the prior quarter, mainly reflecting a $5.9 million write-off of assets at Stolt Bitumen Services.
  • During the quarter, SNL and its strategic partners, Golar LNG Ltd and Höegh LNG Holdings Ltd, established Avenir LNG Limited, a joint venture to pursue small-scale LNG sales and distribution.

Commenting on the Company’s results, Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said: “The challenging chemical tanker market impacted SNL’s fourth-quarter results. At Stolt Tankers, softness in deep-sea markets driven by deliveries of newbuildings, combined with a shift in Stolt Tankers’ product mix for the quarter, resulted in a decrease in revenue for the period. While there was a welcome drop in bunker fuel prices toward the end of November, the timing of the decrease resulted in a $4.1 million loss on Tankers’ bunker hedges. At Stolthaven, while revenue was essentially unchanged and utilisation held steady, operating income was down as a result of impairments. Stolt Tank Containers showed improved results once again this quarter, but the seasonal autumn pick-up in shipments failed to materialize, driven in part by increasing global economic uncertainty as the year wound down. At Stolt Sea Farm, while the volume of turbot sold was down in the quarter, average turbot prices climbed to their highest level in over seven years, and sole prices reached the highest level since SSF entered the market in 2010.”

“Our outlook for 2019 remains cautiously optimistic. In the chemical tanker market, we expect the balance between tonnage supply and demand to improve as the year unfolds. Beyond that, if newbuilding orders remain moderate and there is an easing of trade tensions, Stolt Tankers may finally see some healthy market conditions into 2019 and beyond. At Stolthaven Terminals, ongoing initiatives to enhance utilisation and operational performance are steadily generating better results, which we expect to continue in 2019. At STC, we expect to benefit as the global market for tank containers continues to grow, further supported by STC’s continuous actions to improve operational efficiency. Finally, at Stolt Sea Farm, we are gaining increased traction as prices for our products continue to rise, driven by efforts to expand both our markets and our product offerings.”

“With the formation of Avenir LNG Limited, we successfully registered the company on the Norwegian OTC market during the quarter. Avenir’s strategy is to become a leading supplier of small-scale LNG ships for the power, bunkering, trucking and industrial markets. With the support and know-how of the founding partners, we believe the company is uniquely positioned to succeed in this new segment.”

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Source: Stolt-Nielsen Holdings

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