Stolt Nielsen has made a strong start to 2015 as unaudited Q1 figures, released Thursday, show a year-on-year rise in operating profits for Stolt Tankers and Stolthaven Terminals. The tanker division saw a rise from $12.5m in Q1 2014 to $19m in Q1 2015, while Stolthaven Terminals saw an increase from $14m in Q1 2014 to $15.6m in Q1 2015.
Stolt Tank Containers reported an operating profit of $16m, down from $19.5m, due primarily to the normal seasonal slowdown impacting utilisation, though margin per shipment held steady.
Stolt Sea Farm reported an operating loss of $0.3m, compared with an operating loss of $0.4m.
Commenting on the Company's results, Mr. Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, Chief Executive Officer of Stolt-Nielsen Limited, said: "The improvement this quarter derives primarily from lower bunker costs in Stolt Tankers, but also from initiatives taken to lower overall costs in the group. At Stolt Tankers, the net impact of lower bunker prices improved results, though utilisation and freight rates were down.
"At Stolthaven Terminals, underlying operating performance improved this quarter. Utilisation at our terminal in Santos was up. Operating results at Stolt Tank Containers reflected the impact of seasonal slowdowns, with a reduced number of shipments and lower utilisation."
"Looking ahead, we expect to continue to benefit from lower bunker fuel prices in the second quarter, but cargo volumes must increase if we are to see any material improvement in the chemical tanker market. We have yet to see any sustained increases to date and, unfortunately, there are no indications of any improvement in the near future."