LONDON, July 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stolt-Nielsen Limited (Oslo Børs: SNI) today reported unaudited results for the second quarter ended May 31, 2014. Net profit attributable to shareholders in the second quarter was $30.8 million, with revenue of $543.4 million, compared with $18.6 million, with revenue of $516.7 million, in the first quarter of 2014. Net profit attributable to shareholders for the first six months was $49.4 million, with revenue of $1,060.1 million, compared with $25.7 million, with revenue of $1,053.2 million, in the first half of 2013.
Highlights for the second quarter of 2014, compared with the first quarter of 2014, were:
- Stolt Tankers reported an operating profit of $8.5 million, down from $9.8 million, due to increased port costs and delays in the port of Houston related to inclement weather and a shutdown of the main ship channel for several days. In addition, drydockings resulted in increased voyage-charter expenses.
- The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index slipped to 1.31 from 1.35. The Sailed-In Time-Charter Index does not reflect inflation and average ship size, making it difficult to compare over longer periods. Therefore, in this quarter, the Group revised the Sailed-In Time-Charter Index to adjust for inflation and average ship size. For the second quarter of 2014, the inflation-adjusted Sailed-In Time-Charter Index was 0.64, compared with 0.67 in the first quarter of 2014.
- Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of $11.8 million, down from $18.9 million in the first quarter, which included $5.0 million of insurance-related income at Stolthaven New Orleans. Low capacity utilisation at our terminals in Houston, New Orleans and Santos held down operating performance.
- Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $18.0 million, up from $15.1 million, driven by firming seasonal demand, partially offset by increased price competition.
- Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating loss of $5.2 million, compared with an operating profit of $1.4 million, reflecting a negative impact of $4.7 million from the accounting for inventories at fair value, versus a negative impact of $1.0 million in the first quarter.
- Stolt-Nielsen Gas Ltd (SNG) reported equity income from its investment in Avance Gas Holding Ltd (AGHL) of $1.1 million, excluding a dilution gain, down from $1.6 million. In addition, SNG reported one-off gains on its investment in AGHL of $24.4 million from the sale of AGHL shares in conjunction with the initial public offering (IPO) of AGHL, which was completed on April 9, 2014.
Commenting on the Company's results, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said:
"Stolt-Nielsen Limited's second-quarter results were weaker than we expected. Operating results at Stolt Tankers, which typically strengthen in the second quarter, were down. Stolthaven's results were also weak, as rising operating costs and lower capacity utilisation at our terminals in Houston, New Orleans and Santos held down results. In contrast, Stolt Tank Containers had another good quarter on solid overall strength in global demand, though price competition continues to intensify. Stolt Sea Farm's results reflected the seasonal decline in caviar sales. Turbot prices continued to weaken during the quarter, contributing to a negative fair value adjustment to inventory of $4.7 million. Post quarter-end, turbot prices increased, and we expect this trend to continue in the second half of the year."
"We are concerned that the recovery of the parcel tanker market overall may be faltering. The cargo volume necessary to drive a market recovery has not materialised. In addition, access to low-cost capital and an abundance of yard capacity has been spurring an increase in the orderbook for chemical tankers, which has grown to 23.5% of existing fleet. At the same time, cost pressures continue to rise, driven by port delays, increasingly strict vetting requirements, and tougher environmental regulations. These and other factors, in our view, are reducing the likelihood of a typical cyclic recovery."
"At Stolthaven, we expect utilisation to improve by year-end at our Houston terminal as our newly built tanks will be leased out and generate revenue. The wall we are constructing around our New Orleans terminal to protect against storm surges is expected to be completed in July 2014, giving customers the assurance they need that their products will be secure during hurricane season. The fundamentals in our terminal business remain healthy."
"We will start selling sole from our new land-based farm in Iceland in the third quarter, as the fish are growing faster than expected due to the optimal water conditions. We expect to produce 600 metric tons annually in the first phase, but infrastructure and land are available to expand capacity up to 2,000 metric tons."
 Effective with the second quarter 2014, the Sailed-in Time Charter index has been revised. The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter index is an indexed measurement of the performance of the market in which the Joint Service operates. The sailed-in rate per operating day is a measure frequently used by shipping companies, which subtracts from a ship's operating revenue the variable costs associated with a voyage, primarily commissions, sublets, external time charter expenses, transshipments, port costs, and bunker fuel. The previous index was set at 1.00 in the first quarter 1990, based on the average sailed-in time-charter result for the fleet at the time. The new index has been set at 1.00 in the first quarter of 1996, and excludes the impact of bunker hedge results, and adjusts for changes to the average ship size in the fleet and the average inflation rate from 1996 onwards. The inflation rate applied is the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U.S. city average, by expenditure category and commodity and service group, all items (1982-84=100) as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of the Consumer Price Index Detailed Reports.
This information is subject of the disclosure requirements pursuant to section 5-12 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act.
CONTACT: Jan Chr. Engelhardtsen Chief Financial Officer UK +44 (0) 20 7611 8972 firstname.lastname@example.org Jens F. Gruner-Hegge VP Corporate Finance UK +44 (0) 20 7611 8985 email@example.comSource:Stolt-Nielsen Limited