Stolt-Nielsen Squeezes Higher Profit out of Falling Revenue

  • Business & Finance

Oslo-listed Stolt-Nielsen Limited reported USD 42.5 million net profit for the second quarter ended May 31, 2015, a 36% increase compared to USD 31.2 million net profit the company had recorded in the second quarter of 2014, driven largely by the company’s tanker segment – Stolt Tankers.

Stolt Tankers brought the company USD 30.4 million net profit in 2Q 2015, compared to USD 8.5 million recorded in 2Q 2014. The improved profit is attributed to lower bunker fuel prices, an improved spot market and the favourable impact of the stronger US dollar.

Stolt Nielsen recorded higher profit margins for the second quarter and the first six months of 2015 despite a dip in revenue.

The company’s revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was USD 500.7 million, compared with USD 543.4 million revenue in the second quarter of 2014.

Net profit attributable to shareholders for the first six months of 2015 was USD 81.2 million, with revenue of USD 988.4 million, compared with USD 49.4 million net profit and revenue of USD 1,060.1 million in the first half of 2014.

Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of USD 14.3 million, up from USD 11.8 million recorded in 2Q 2014, but down from USD 15.6 million reported in 1Q 2015, mainly reflecting increased maintenance costs at Stolthaven Houston.

Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of USD 18.6 million, up from USD 18 million in 2Q 2014, due to increased shipments and the positive impact of the stronger US dollar.

Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating profit of USD 5.2 million, compared with an identical operating loss in 2Q 2014.

“While Stolt Tankers may continue to see near-term benefits from the factors driving the recent improvements, the longer-term outlook remains challenging,” said Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited.

”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.”

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