LONDON, Oct. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stolt-Nielsen Limited (Oslo Børs: SNI) today reported unaudited results for the third quarter ended August 31, 2014. Net profit attributable to shareholders in the third quarter was $14.6 million, with revenue of $545.4 million, compared with $30.8 million, with revenue of $543.4 million, in the second quarter. Net profit attributable to shareholders for the first nine months of 2014 was $64.0 million, with revenue of $1,605.5 million, compared with $46.8 million, with revenue of $1,575.0 million for the same period in the prior year.
Highlights for the third quarter of 2014, compared with the second quarter of 2014, were:
- Stolt Tankers reported an operating profit of $8.4 million versus $8.5 million, as an increase in contract freight rates and lower trading expenses was largely offset by fewer operating days and lower spot freight rates.
- The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index was 0.65, compared with 0.64.
- Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of $16.2 million, up from $11.8 million, reflecting improved performance at the division's terminals in Houston, New Orleans and Australia, and $3.0 million of business-interruption insurance reimbursement related to Stolthaven New Orleans from Hurricane Isaac in August 2012.
- Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $17.6 million, compared with $18.0 million, as a decrease in shipments was partially offset by an associated decrease in freight costs and an increase in demurrage revenue.
- Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating profit of $2.8 million, compared with a loss of $5.2 million, as the accounting for inventories at fair value had a positive impact of $1.8 million in the third quarter-driven mainly by a rise in turbot prices late in the period-compared with a negative impact of $4.7 million in the second quarter.
- Stolt-Nielsen Gas Ltd (SNG) reported operating profit of $4.4 million, up from $1.6 million. The $1.6 million excludes one-off gains on its investment in Avance Gas Holding Ltd (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:
"Contract freight rates strengthened at Stolt Tankers, though lower volumes continue to be a problem. At Stolthaven Terminals we saw improved performance at Houston, New Orleans and Newcastle, Australia. Stolt Tank Containers also managed a good performance in what is normally a seasonally weaker quarter for the division. Stolt Sea Farm had a good quarter, thanks mainly to strong volumes of turbot sold."
"Looking ahead, we remain concerned about the market outlook for Stolt Tankers. Despite the third-quarter improvement at Tankers, the orderbook for chemical tankers continues to grow in what is already a difficult competitive environment, with low volumes and significant volatility in spot rates. On the upside, the first nine months of 2014 were an improvement over the same period in 2013. That said, the strength of the recovery at Stolt Tankers has been below our expectations to date and looking forward into 2015 we do not foresee any signs of a substantial improvement."
 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, 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. In addition, the sailed-in time charter result has been adjusted to exclude the impact of bunker hedge results and changes to the average ship size in the fleet. Finally, the sailed-in time charter result has been adjusted for 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.
SNL 3Q14 Earnings Release http://hugin.info/154/R/1860171/651935.pdf