Stolt-Nielsen Limited Reports Unaudited Results For the Fourth Quarter and Full Year of 2014
LONDON, January 29, 2015 - Stolt-Nielsen Limited (Oslo B?rs: SNI) today reported unaudited results for the fourth quarter ended November 30, 2014. Net profit attributable to shareholders in the fourth quarter was $13.1 million, with revenue of $532.3 million, compared with a net profit of $14.6 million, with revenue of $545.4 million, in the third quarter. Net profit attributable to shareholders for 2014 was $77.1 million, with revenue of $2,137.9 million, compared with a net profit of $82.0 million, with revenue of $2,099.5 million, in 2013.
Highlights for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with the third quarter of 2014, were:
- Stolt Tankers reported an operating profit of $8.6 million versus $8.4 million. Excluding the impact of one-time items in the fourth and third quarters, Stolt Tankers had its strongest quarterly performance of the year.
- The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index was 0.65, consistent with the prior quarter.
- Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of $17.8 million, up from $16.2 million. Results for the quarter reflected $3.8 million related to the termination of a customer contract at Stolthaven New Zealand, and the positive impact of new capacity coming into operation in Singapore.
- Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $19.5 million, up from $17.6 million, as momentum was maintained despite a decrease in shipments.
- Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating loss of $0.4 million, compared with operating profit of $2.8 million, as the accounting for inventories at fair value had a negative impact of $0.4 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a positive impact of $1.8 million in the third quarter.
- Corporate and Other reported an operating loss of $6.8 million, down from $0.3 million operating profit, mostly as a result of the expected severance related to the Norwalk, Connecticut office relocation.
Commenting on the Company's results, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said:
"Overall 2014 was a disappointing year for Stolt-Nielsen Limited. The expected turnaround at Stolt Tankers did not materialise due to lower volumes and a soft freight market, reflecting a sluggish global economy."
"In the fourth quarter, while operating results improved at Stolt Tankers, we have yet to see the full impact of the drop in bunker fuel prices, as our ships continued to consume the fuel purchased at higher cost before the significant drop began. At Stolthaven Terminals, the results for the quarter were up. We believe the lag in earnings from the recent investments we made in the division will catch up as the new capacity comes on line and utilisation increases at all of our terminals. Stolt Tank Containers delivered solid results in the fourth quarter, even though the market experienced seasonal weakness. Stolt Sea Farm's fourth-quarter results were weak because of continued historically low turbot prices. We look forward to seeing the sale of the first sole from our farm in Iceland towards the end of our first quarter, which should have a positive impact on our Stolt Sea Farm earnings going forward."
"Looking ahead we expect the lower bunker fuel prices to gradually have a positive effect on Stolt Tankers in the quarters to come, though a significant portion of the savings will be passed on to our contract customers as a result of the bunker fuel clauses in most of our contracts. We remain concerned about the market outlook for Stolt Tankers, as the order book now stands at over 30% in the parcel-tanker segment and the global economic outlook is uncertain. With the prolonged challenging chemical tanker market, we have and will continue to challenge our cost structure. Some of the implemented saving initiatives are starting to show results and are expected to be reflected in our bottom line going forward."
 Effective with the second quarter 2014, the Sailed-in Time Charter index has been revised. The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter index is an indexed measurement of the performance of the market in which the Joint Service operates. The sailed-in rate per operating day is a measure frequently used by shipping companies, which subtracts from a ship's operating revenue the variable costs associated with a voyage, primarily commissions, sublets, transshipments, port costs, and bunker fuel. The previous index was set at 1.00 in the first quarter 1990, based on the average sailed-in time-charter result for the fleet at the time. The new index has been set at 1.00 in the first quarter of 1996. In addition, the sailed-in time charter result has been adjusted to exclude the impact of bunker hedge results and changes to the average ship size in the fleet. Finally, the sailed-in time charter result has been adjusted for the average inflation rate from 1996 onwards. The inflation rate applied is the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city average, by expenditure category and commodity and service group, all items (1982-84=100) as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of the Consumer Price Index Detailed Reports.