LONDON, February 1, 2018 - Stolt-Nielsen Limited (Oslo Børs: SNI) today reported unaudited results for the fourth quarter ended November 30, 2017. Net profit attributable to shareholders in the fourth quarter was $1.1 million, with revenue of $506.8 million, compared with a net profit attributable to shareholders of $18.5 million, with revenue of $513.8 million, in the third quarter of 2017. Fourth-quarter 2017 results included one-time impairments totalling $15.3 million. Net profit attributable to shareholders for 2017 was $50.3 million, with revenue of $1,997.1 million, compared with net profit attributable to shareholders of $113.1 million, with revenue of $1,879.9 million, in 2016.
Highlights for the fourth quarter of 2017, compared with the third quarter of 2017, were:
Stolt Tankers reported an operating profit of $20.4 million, down from $34.4 million, mainly reflecting the impact of lower contracts of affreightment (COA) volume and freight rates. The quarter was negatively impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which closed down the Houston ship channel, disrupted cargo operations and affected onward voyages well into the fourth quarter.
The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index decreased to 0.61 from 0.64.
Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of $5.4 million, down from $16.0 million in the third quarter. The current quarter included an $8.4 million one-time impairment of assets in Stolthaven New Zealand.
Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $17.0 million, up from $14.8 million, driven by stronger markets, increased demurrage revenue and improved margins.
Stolt Sea Farm's operating profit before the impact of fair value adjustment of inventories was $0.1 million, compared with an operating profit of $0.4 million in the third quarter. The accounting for inventories at fair value had a positive impact of $4.8 million in the fourth quarter, compared with a negative impact of $2.9 million in the third quarter.
Corporate and Other reported an operating loss of $9.4 million, compared with a loss of $6.7 million in the third quarter. During the quarter SNL recognised an impairment of assets at Stolt Bitumen Services of $6.9 million and a one-time gain of $7.2 million due to certain changes made to the healthcare benefits plan in the U.S. In addition, higher losses at Stolt Bitumen Services contributed to the overall operating loss at Corporate and Other.
Commenting on the Company's results, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said: "SNL's fourth-quarter results reflected the negative impact of one-time charges related to impairments and extraordinary events. The chemical tanker market continued to soften in the quarter driven by oversupply of tonnage, combined with the impact from Hurricane Harvey.
Except for the effects Hurricane Harvey had on Stolthaven Houston, our terminal business had another steady quarter. Stolt Tank Containers had a strong quarter as rates and margins increased. Results at Stolt Sea Farm improved, mainly driven by the positive impact of fair value adjustment of inventories, higher turbot prices and additional turbot volume sold on consignment."
"Our outlook for the first half of 2018 remains essentially unchanged. We do not anticipate any substantial improvement in the chemical tanker market until 2019 when the orderbook reduces and the supply/demand balance improves. For Stolthaven Terminals, we continue to expect a modest but steady improvement in results, driven by operational improvements and better utilisation. At Stolt Tank Containers, we expect continued strength in rates and margins. Stolt Sea Farm's results were strong in December in line with holiday demand, but are expected to decline consistent with seasonal patterns in January and February, though prices are anticipated to remain at higher levels than in 2017."