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Stolt-Nielsen profit drops, tankers back in black

Second quarter profits at Stolt-Nielsen were $26m for 2013, up from the previous quarter's $1.4m but down on 2012's $37.6m for the same period.

Net profit for the first half of 2013 was $27.4m, significantly lower than the $45.4m at the same point in 2012.

Stolt Tankers reversed its $2.8m first quarter loss, returning a $5m profit in the second quarter, owing to improved contract of affreightment rates which managed to offset a decline in spot rates and a drop in total volume carried.

"Stolt Tankers' results for the quarter reflect the modest rate increases we have achieved in our contract portfolio over the last 12 months—this in a market where the spot rates have moved in the opposite direction. Volumes continue to be the challenge." commented Niels Stolt-Nielsen, ceo.

Stolthaven Terminals and Stolt Tank Containers reported year on year second quarter improvements up to $21.9m and 20.8m respectively from $18.1m and 19.6m in 2012.

Taking a wider view of the market, Stolt-Nielsen said, "the outlook for the global economy remains highly uncertain. We question the resilience of the US growth once quantitative easing tapers off. The European economies continue to struggle and the recent slowdown in China is also a concern."

"While we have been able to achieve modest gains in our contracts of affreightment, we do not yet see any acceleration of momentum in the market, which is still plagued by excess tonnage and low volumes. We continue to believe the recovery will take time," he warned.

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