London, England - October 4, 2005 - Stolt-Nielsen S.A. (NasdaqNM: SNSA; Oslo Stock Exchange: SNI) today reported results for the third quarter and nine months ended August 31, 2005.
Operating revenue of $384.0 million for the quarter, compared with operating revenue of $407.9 million for the same quarter last year (which included $84.8 million of Stolt Sea Farm (SSF) operating revenue from operations contributed to the new Marine Harvest).
Net income (and income from continuing operations) of $53.1 million for the quarter, compared with net income of $17.5 million ($12.2 million from continuing operations) for the same quarter last year.
Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group's (SNTG) performance reflected a continued strong parcel tanker market, improved margins from Stolt Tank Containers, and solid results from Stolthaven Terminals, partially offset by record high bunker prices, continued high legal costs, and Hurricane Katrina-related provisions.
The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index increased by 13% to 1.36 from 1.20 in the same quarter last year.
SNTG's Stolthaven Braithwaite storage terminal, located near New Orleans, withstood Hurricane Katrina with limited damage. Progress is being made towards a full restart of operations, although Hurricane Rita interrupted recovery efforts in late September. SNTG recorded provisions in operating expense of $1.6 million related to Hurricane Katrina.
SSF's 25% share of Marine Harvest and interest income on the shareholder loan to Marine Harvest contributed a total of $2.7 million to SSF's net income. SSF's turbot business reported continued solid results. SSF results reflect recognition of a previously deferred after-tax gain of $7.0 million on the sale of Southern bluefin tuna quota rights in Australia.
Highlights for the third quarter of 2005
Commenting, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, CEO of SNSA, said:
"SNSA posted strong results in the third quarter of 2005 as we continued to see solid demand for SNTG's services and positive contributions from SSF's turbot operations and the investment in Marine Harvest.
"Looking towards the remainder of 2005 and into 2006, we believe the underlying fundamentals of the parcel tanker market remain strong, though there may be some turbulence in the fourth quarter due to the combined impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on our operations and those of some of our customers. We believe the supply demand balance will remain tight as there is no shipyard capacity for additional parcel tankers until late 2008 or early 2009 and the impact of new regulations will come into effect. This favorable environment is partially offset by record high bunker prices. Our tank container business has shown considerable margin improvement in recent quarters and we believe this improvement is sustainable. While there are short-term disruptions in the U.S. Gulf, the fundamentals of the terminal storage business are strong. The improved salmon pricing environment is having a positive impact on Marine Harvest."
**For the full press release please see "SNSA 3Q/05 Results."