Stolt-Nielsen Limited reported unaudited results for the first quarter ended February 28, 2018. Net profit attributable to shareholders in the first quarter was $38.7 million, with revenue of $515.3 million, compared with a net profit of $1.1 million, with revenue of $506.8 million, in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Highlights for the first quarter of 2018, compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, were:
- The Company’s first-quarter results included a one-time gain of $24.9 million, reflecting the reduction in the Company’s net deferred tax liability following the lowering of the US federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, effective January 1, 2018.
- Stolt Tankers reported an operating profit of $10.9 million, down from $20.4 million, mainly reflecting the impact of higher bunker costs.
- The Stolt Tankers Joint Service Sailed-in Time-Charter Index slipped to 0.57 from 0.58.
- Stolthaven Terminals reported an operating profit of $25.9 million, up from $5.4 million in the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter included an $8.4 million impairment of assets, while first-quarter joint-venture income included an $8.2 million gain from a reduction in deferred taxes. Excluding these one-time items, operating income increased by $3.9 million.
- Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $16.2 million, down from $17.0 million, reflecting sustained strength in volumes in the first quarter, typically STC’s weakest.
- Stolt Sea Farm’s operating profit before the fair value adjustment of inventories was $2.2 million, compared with $0.1 million in the fourth quarter, reflecting improved margins. The accounting for inventories at fair value had a positive impact of $3.3 million, compared with a positive impact of $4.8 million in the prior quarter.
- Corporate and Other reported an operating loss of $3.6 million, compared with a loss of $9.4 million in the prior period. The fourth quarter included an $8.4 million impairment of assets in Stolt Bitumen Services, partially offset by a $7.2 million gain from changes in the US retiree healthcare benefits plan. In the current quarter administrative and general expenses were down $1.8 million and results from joint ventures improved.
Commenting on the Company’s results, Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said: “SNL’s first-quarter underlying operating performance was largely in line with expectations, reflecting the surge in bunker prices that we have experienced lately, but excluding the impact of one-time items in both quarters. At Stolt Tankers, higher fuel prices had a negative impact of over $14 million, taking into effect bunker hedges and surcharge revenue, which was partially offset by higher COA nominations. Excluding one-offs, Stolthaven continued its steady improvement in performance. For Stolt Tank Containers, continued strength in volume resulted in a stronger than usual first quarter, typically STC’s seasonally weak quarter. Stolt Sea Farm’s performance was largely in line with our expectations for the quarter.”
“Looking ahead, the fundamentals remain unchanged. While the chemical tanker market appears to have bottomed out, we are unlikely to see any meaningful improvement until next year, as the orderbook shrinks and new deliveries are absorbed in the market. At Stolthaven Terminals, we expect continued slow, but steady improvements in performance driven by increased utilisation and ongoing operational enhancements. At Stolt Tank Containers, the outlook is positive as global tank container demand continues to grow. For Stolt Sea Farm, results are expected to improve, with sustained strength in pricing driven by efforts to expand our markets.”