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Stolt-Nielsen posts lower earnings in first quarter

Stolt-Nielsen posts lower earnings in first quarter
Stolt-Nielsen Limited has posted a dip in earnings for its first quarter ended 29 February 2016 compared to the year-ago period, held back by lower contributions from Stolt Tankers and Stolt Tank Containers.

Net profit attributable to shareholders for the first quarter was recorded at $30.4m, down 21.5% from $38.72m in the previous corresponding period. The quarterly revenue also declined by 4.9% year-on-year to $463.96m.

While its tanker business Stolt Tankers saw a profitable first quarter helped by a continued strong spot market and low bunker costs, operating profit decreased by 11.9% year-on-year to $31.2m, reflecting the impact of fewer operating days as two deepsea ships were out of service and two more were recycled.

Stolt Tank Containers also reported a lower operating profit of $11.8m, down from $13.1m, as price competition more than offset an increase in shipments.

Oslo-listed Stolt-Nielsen’s other main business units, Stolthaven Terminals and Stolt Sea Farm, both saw increases in operating profits.

“Looking forward, at Stolt Tankers we expect the second quarter and possibly the third to look much like the first quarter, though with fewer lost operating days,” said Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, ceo of Stolt-Nielsen.

“The longer term outlook for tankers hinges on how long the spot market holds up. Thanks to lower feedstock costs, chemical exports out of the US Gulf have been good – one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lacklustre global market. We remain concerned about the impact of the orderbook, though delays and cancellations seem increasingly likely,” he said.

Stolthaven Terminals is expected to see small, gradual improvements this year, while Stolt Tank Containers is facing increased competition amid growth opportunities ahead, he added.