Oslo-listed Stolt-Nielsen Limited ended the first quarter of the fiscal year with a net profit of USD 15.2 million, representing a drop of some 50 percent compared with a net profit of USD 30.4 million seen in the same period a year earlier.
The company’s operating profit also dropped in the period to USD 48.4 million from USD 57.8 million, reflecting continued softness in the chemical tanker market, higher bunker fuel costs and a loss on a ship sold for early recycling, partially offset by the positive impact from the Jo Tankers acquisition.
Stolt-Nielsen’s revenue in the quarter ended February 28, 2017 stood at USD 475.7 million, up from USD 464 seen in the previous year.
“The downward slide in the chemical tanker market that we observed in the second half of last year continued during the first quarter. Newbuilding deliveries drove down spot rates, while rising bunker prices ate into margins,” Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said.
“Looking ahead, the chemical tanker orderbook is shrinking and we are seeing at least some evidence that the market is now bottoming out. The rest of this year will still be a challenge, but we anticipate an improvement in the chemical tanker market once 2017 is behind us,” he added.
The company’s Stolthaven Terminals segment reported an operating profit of USD 16.7 million, up from USD 10.5 million, mainly reflecting improved results at Stolthaven Houston, Stolthaven Singapore and increased income from joint ventures.
Additionally, Stolt Tank Containers saw an operating profit of USD 9 million, down from USD 11.8 million, mainly due to seasonally lower revenue, continued price competition and higher depreciation.