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Stolt-Nielsen sees improved tanker results in Q3

Stolt-Nielsen sees improved tanker results in Q3
A stronger performance by its tanker arm helped keep Stolt-Nielsen in the black in the third quarter.

For Q3 ended 31 August Stolt-Nielsen reported a net profit of $30.1m, down from its second quarter result of $42.5m. Revenues in both the third and second quarters were identical at $500.7m.

Stolt Tankers enjoyed a good quarter with lower bunker prices helping to bring in an operating profit of $37.5m compared to $30.4m in the previous quarter.

Commenting on the result Niels Stolt-Nielsen, ceo of Stolt-Nielsen said: “The continued improvements we see in Stolt Tankers were not because of increased cargo volumes and freight rates, but because bunker costs were lower combined with a strong US dollar.  

“Volumes from our contract customers remained flat for the quarter, but we have been able to pick up additional volumes in the spot market. While bunker prices have fallen, spot rates have remained flat. We suspect the current spot rates reflect the strength of the product market, which has kept swing tonnage away from our niche markets."

Both the company’s terminal and tank container divisions reported poorer results. Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit in Q3 of $6.4m down from $14.3m in Q2. Stolt Tank Containers saw operating profit slide to $15.6m in Q3 compared to $18.6m in Q2.

Looking ahead he said, “While we expect the current momentum at Stolt Tankers to continue into the fourth quarter, we remain concerned about the current orderbook for chemical tankers, which stands at just under 30%, and the impact of expected newbuilding deliveries during 2016 and 2017. 

“The relatively healthy product spot market may come under pressure again once the large order book in the product tanker segment starts entering service, pushing swing tonnage into the fringes of our market."