Press Release

Stolt-Nielsen S.A. Reports Unaudited Results For Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year 2008

LONDON, January 29, 2009 - Stolt-Nielsen S.A. (Oslo B?rs: SNI) today reported unaudited results for the fourth quarter and full year ended November 30, 2008.
 
Highlights for the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the third quarter of 2008, included:
 
  •          Net profit attributable to shareholders of $52.6 million, up from $42.3 million, reflecting a net benefit from the reversal of prior year tax provisions of $9.5 million in the fourth quarter.
  •          Revenue of $489.5 million, versus $522.6 million, reflecting softening market conditions, a steep decline in bunker surcharges, and the impact of hurricanes in the U.S. Gulf.
  •          Stolt Tankers reported a decrease in operating profit, due primarily to the combined impact of the weakening business conditions and the effects of the hurricanes in the U.S. Gulf.
  •          The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index[1] decreased by 2.3% to 1.30 from 1.33.
  •          Stolthaven Terminals reported a decline in operating profit resulting from lower throughput revenue due to the impact of the hurricanes and the weakening business conditions.
  •          Stolt Tank Containers results reflected improved margins and continued strength in overall demand, though shipment volumes began to decline sharply late in the quarter.
  •          Stolt Sea Farm reported a small operating loss in the quarter, due to lower turbot prices and the negative impact of an IFRS fair value revaluation of inventories of $1.2 million.
  •  
    Commenting on the Company's results, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of SNSA, said:
     
    "While SNSA's performance in 2008 reflected four consecutive quarters of good results, the effects of softening demand and the steep decline in global economic activity have now begun to have a tangible impact on our operations. Business conditions continued to deteriorate in December, which strongly suggests that SNSA's relatively favorable fourth-quarter results should not serve as an indication of our near-term performance."
     
    "Given the current global economic environment, we see little cause for optimism. We became concerned about the outlook well over a year ago and as a result took a number of actions, including securing financing of our newbuildings, the accelerated recycling of five ships, and the sale of one ship. We expect 2009 and 2010 to be extremely challenging years in our industry, and we are planning accordingly. Considering these and other factors, I believe SNSA, with its experienced team and strong position in each of its markets, is well prepared to manage through this crisis."



    [1] 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, transshipments, port costs, and bunker fuel.
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