[ID] => 10579
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-02-06 14:11:07
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-02-06 14:11:07
[post_content] => Stolt-Nielsen Ltd had a disappointing end to its 2018 financial year, which ended up with operating profit off by 3.8 per cent compared to 2017 at $187.1m, despite a 6.4 per cent increase in revenues to $2.1bn. Net profit, however, rose 7.8 per cent to $54.0m.
The chemical tanker market remains challenging, says Niels G Stolt-Nielsen, CEO. Stolt Tankers posted an operating profit of $66.6m for the year to end November 2018, down from $111.0m for the previous year, with the fourth quarter showing a sharp drop in profitability from $21.4m in the third quarter to $7.7m.
“Softness in deep-sea markets driven by deliveries of newbuildings, combined with a shift in Stolt Tankers' product mix for the [fourth] quarter, resulted in a decrease in revenue for the period,” says Stolt-Nielsen. This largely relates to an increase in commodity cargoes being carried by the deepsea fleet. “While there was a welcome drop in bunker fuel prices toward the end of November, the timing of the decrease resulted in a $4.1m loss on bunker hedges.”
The long-awaited return to a tighter market may be around the corner, as Stolt-Nielsen says: “Our outlook for 2019 remains cautiously optimistic. In the chemical tanker market, we expect the balance between tonnage supply and demand to improve as the year unfolds. Beyond that, if newbuilding orders remain moderate and there is an easing of trade tensions, Stolt Tankers may finally see some healthy market conditions into 2019 and beyond.”
In the gas transport sector, Stolt-Nielsen Ltd has now consolidated its small-scale LNG activities in Avenir LNG Ltd, a joint-venture established during the fourth quarter with Golar LNG and Höegh LNG Holdings in which Stolt-Nielsen owns 45 per cent of the shares. Stolt-Nielsen’s holdings in Avenir LNG, Avance Gas Holding and Golar LNG will in future be reported as a joint venture.
TANKS AND TERMINALS
Operating conditions were healthier in the tank container market, where Stolt Tank Containers (STC) reported an annual operating profit of $70.9m, well up on the prior year’s $54.5m. Profits improved in the fourth quarter, despite a 6.5 per cent decline in shipments. This was offset by a continued increase in demurrage revenue as customers continued to use tanks for storage.
“Stolt Tank Containers showed improved results once again this quarter, but the seasonal autumn pick-up in shipments failed to materialise, driven in part by increasing global economic uncertainty as the year wound down,” says Stolt-Nielsen.
Stolthaven Terminals had a stable year, although its final figures were impacted by an impairment charge of $6.1m and one-time costs of $1.7m relating to its joint-venture terminals in Antwerp and Lingang. The unit reported operating profit for the year of $76.4m, up from $54.2m in 2017, though quarterly profit declined from $18.6m in the third period to $11.7m in the fourth. Utilisation rates remained steady over the second half of the year.
Looking ahead, Stolt-Nielsen says: “Ongoing initiatives to enhance utilisation and operational performance are steadily generating better results, which we expect to continue in 2019.”
[post_title] => Stolt-Nielsen: Holding pattern
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[post_name] => stolt-nielsen-holding-pattern
[post_modified] => 2019-02-06 14:11:07
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-02-06 14:11:07
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[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=10579
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Stolt-Nielsen: Holding pattern
Sluggish economic growth and over-capacity in the chemical tanker sector limited Stolt-Nielsen's opportunities for business growth during 2018