LONDON, July 2, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stolt-Nielsen Limited (Oslo Børs: SNI) today reported unaudited results for the second quarter ended May 31, 2015. Net profit attributable to shareholders in the second quarter was $42.5 million, with revenue of $500.7 million, compared with a net profit of $38.7 million, with revenue of $487.7 million, in the first quarter of 2015. Net profit attributable to shareholders for the first six months was $81.2 million, with revenue of $988.4 million, compared with $49.4 million, and revenue of $1,060.1 million, in the first half of 2014.
Highlights for the second quarter of 2015, compared with the first quarter of 2015, were:
- Stolt Tankers reported an operating profit of $30.4 million, up from $19.0 million, mainly reflecting lower bunker fuel prices, an improved spot market and the favourable impact of the stronger U.S. dollar.
- The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index was 0.72, up from 0.67 in the first quarter.
- Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of $14.3 million, down from $15.6 million, mainly reflecting increased maintenance costs at Stolthaven Houston.
- Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $18.6 million, up from $16.0 million, driven by increased shipments and the positive impact of the stronger U.S. dollar.
- Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating profit of $5.2 million, compared with an operating loss of $0.3 million. Volume sold of turbot and sole increased during the quarter. T he accounting for inventories at fair value had a positive impact of $4.6 million in the second quarter, compared with a negative impact of $1.1 million in the first quarter.
- Corporate and Other reported an operating profit of $2.8 million, compared with $21.1 million. The first quarter included a gain of $19.8 million before tax, resulting from the previously reported curtailment of a defined benefit pension plan.
Commenting on the Company's results, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said:
"Stolt-Nielsen Limited's results were up in the second quarter, driven mainly by improved performance at Stolt Tankers, which benefited from higher spot-market rates, combined with lower bunker costs, and the positive impact of a stronger U.S. dollar. Utilisation and volume, however, remained flat in the quarter. At Stolthaven Terminals, second-quarter results remained disappointing and we continue to focus on efforts to improve the operational efficiency, utilisation and margins in the terminal division. Stolt Tank Containers reported improved results, but the seasonal rebound in shipments that we normally see in this quarter was less than expected. Stolt Sea Farm also had much improved results, with higher turbot sales during the quarter. Production from our new sole farm in Iceland is slowly ramping up and looks promising."
"While Stolt Tankers may continue to see near-term benefits from the factors driving the recent improvements, the longer-term outlook remains challenging. We see little evidence of strengthening volumes in the parcel tanker market, which is essential if we are to see a sustained turnaround, especially considering the substantial number of newbuildings scheduled to enter the chemical tanker market in 2016 and 2017. Similarly, chemical volumes appear to be slipping in tank container markets compared with a year ago, but Stolt Tank Containers has thus far managed to sustain its margins."
 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.