Stolt-Nielsen’s losses widen
Norway’s ailing tanker shipping and offshore group Stolt-Nielsen S.A. made heavier losses for the fourth quarter and the year ended Nov. 30, including a net annual loss of $315.9 million, as compared to a deficit of $102.8 million in the previous financial year.
The company’s fourth-quarter net loss was $216.3 million, about twice the $101.1 million loss for the quarter ended Nov. 30, 2002. The operating loss for the quarter widened dramatically to $320.7 million from $121.4 million. Net operating revenue fell to $684.2 million from $827.7 million.
For the year, Stolt-Nielsen reported an operating deficit of $370 million, compared to a loss of $49.1 million in the previous year. Net operating revenue amounted to $3 billion, up from $2.9 billion a year earlier.
Most of the losses of the company came from its offshore business, whereas the shipping activities of the Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group arm remained profitable for the fourth quarter and the entire year.
For the full year, Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group reported income from operations of $83.8 million in 2003, compared with $123.8 million in 2002.
Stolt-Nielsen Transportation Group’s parcel tanker division’s income from operations in 2003 was $65.3 million down from $92.8 million in 2002. The 2003 figure includes $15.5 million of costs related to legal issues and $7.5 million of costs for the wind-up of the company’s U.S.-flag joint venture.
“Fiscal 2003 was a difficult and frustrating year for Stolt-Nielsen S.A.,” said Niels G. Stolt-Nielsen, chief executive officer. “I am glad it is over.”
The company said it has changed the management of Stolt Offshore and is reducing its workforce.
Commenting on future prospects, Stolt-Nielsen said he expects the financial recovery “to fully manifest itself in 2005.”