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Stolt Nielsen remains concerned about tanker market outlook

Stolt Nielsen remains concerned about tanker market outlook
Stolt Nielsen's ceo has said the company remains worried about the outlook for its tanker outfit due to the large orderbook for parcel tankers.

As the company announced a net profit of $78.1m for 2014, a slight drop on 2013's $81.8m, Niels Stolt-Nielsen expressed his concerns, despite the recent drop in bunker costs.

"We remain concerned about the market outlook for Stolt Tankers, as the order book now stands at over 30% in the parcel-tanker segment and the global economic outlook is uncertain. With the prolonged challenging chemical tanker market, we have and will continue to challenge our cost structure," he said in an earnings release.

“Looking ahead we expect the lower bunker fuel prices to gradually have a positive effect on Stolt Tankers in the quarters to come, though a significant portion of the savings will be passed on to our contract customers as a result of the bunker fuel clauses in most of our contracts."

Stolt Tankers' operating profit for the fourth quarter was $8.6m, down from $15.8m in the last quarter of 2013. It's full year operating profit was $35.2m, up from $27m in 2013.

For the group's tank terminal business operating profit was up for the quarter at $17.8m compared to $15.5m in Q4 2013, but full year operating profit was down to $64.7m from $78.2m.

In December, the company's founder Jacob Stolt-Nielsen, retired from the board of directors, ending his career 55 years after founding the company. He continues as honorary chairman.