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Stolt-Nielsen: Net profit continues to improve in third quarter

Stolt-Nielsen Limited yesterday reported unaudited results for the third quarter and first nine months of 2022.

The Company reported a third-quarter net profit of $74.7 million, with revenue of $744.0 million, compared with a net profit of $58.6 million, with revenue of $689.1 million, in the second quarter. The net profit for the first nine months of 2022 was $185.6 million, with revenue of $2,039.3 million, compared with a net profit of $43.8 million, with revenue of $1,588.0 million, in the first nine months of 2021.

Highlights for the third quarter, compared with the second quarter of 2022:

• Stolt Tankers reported operating profit of $61.1 million, up from $40.8 million, largely driven by higher spot rates.

• The Stolt Tankers Joint Service (STJS) Sailed-in Time-Charter Index increased from 0.56 to 0.64. The STJS sailed-in revenue for the quarter was $24,341 per operating day, up from $20,772, based on an average ship size of 31,686 deadweight tonnes (DWT).

• Stolthaven Terminals reported operating profit of $20.7 million, down from $25.7 million. Adjusting for one-offs, operating results were in line with the prior quarter, reflecting steady underlying performance.

• Stolt Tank Containers (STC) reported operating profit of $43.1 million, down from $44.7 million. Lower shipment margins were mostly offset by an increase in shipments and higher demurrage revenue.

• Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating profit before fair value adjustment of biomass of $6.1 million up from $4.7 million, reflecting higher average sales prices for both turbot and sole.

• Stolt-Nielsen Gas reported an operating loss of $2.0 million, compared to an operating loss of $1.8 million.

• Corporate and Other reported an operating loss of $14.8 million compared with a loss of $5.9 million. The third quarter included a profit sharing accrual of $13.7 million, an increase of $5.6 million, and higher other employee benefit expenses.

Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, commented: “Net profit continued to improve in the third quarter as we finally start to see the impact of the tightening chemical tanker markets. Halfway through our second quarter, in April, momentum began to build in the spot market, with rapid increases in rates, the impact of which became evident during the third quarter when spot rates increased by almost 40% from the second quarter average, pushing our sailed-in revenue per day to an average of $24,341. Subsequent to quarter-end, we have seen this momentum continue and expect further improvements in the sailed-in revenue in subsequent quarters with a positive impact from improved contract renewals. The tankers team has been actively building up our fleet adding 12 ships since 2020 for a total fleet of more than 160 ships, the largest in the Company’s history as we enter the strong market.

Results at Stolthaven Terminals were steady when allowing for several one-off adjustments in this and the prior quarter, reflecting an improvement in utilisation and throughput volume, off-set by the negative impact related to the strengthening of the US Dollar on earnings from our non-US terminals.

Stolt Tank Containers delivered another strong quarter owing to their success at maintaining margins per shipment as the number of shipments increased during the quarter. At Stolt Sea Farm, increased production allowed for steady sales volumes at higher prices for both turbot and sole.

“The upturn in the chemical tanker markets has come at a good time as we enter our busiest contract renewal season during the fourth quarter. At Stolthaven Terminals, high utilisation will continue to have a positive impact on margins for the rest of the year, while STC will likely see an easing in congestion, allowing for an improvement in volumes, but also with a possible squeeze in margins as capacity constraints ease. At Stolt Sea Farm the autumn season tends to be seasonally weaker, so our focus remains on controlling costs while continuing the geographical expansion of markets for our premium species.

“Improving markets for chemical tankers also means improved cash flow generation for the group. There is always a temptation to reinvest this cash in capacity expansions of our various businesses, however we are mindful of the global recession risk at our doorstep. Our priorities remain to reduce debt and improve our breakeven cost levels to make the group more competitive overall, so that we are well placed to withstand shocks in the global economy.”

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