Stolt-Nielsen has published its annual report for the financial year ended November 30, 2020.

Stolt-Nielsen’s CEO, Niels G Stolt-Nielsen, described the company as having been “resilient during an extraordinary year.”

He said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought out the best in our people, and throughout the past year our business model demonstrated its strength. Back in March 2020, when the outlook was uncertain, we quickly took short-term action to protect the company from any potential downside.

“From the very first day of the lockdowns, our office-based staff were able to take their work equipment home and continue delivering the same service quality our customers expect from us – without interruption.

“And as often happens during a crisis, opportunities arose during the year. I am pleased to say that we were able to capitalise on some of these due to our robust business strategy.”

The group reported $25.4 million net profit, with earnings per share of $0.43, compared to $19.1 million and $0.35 in 2019.

Capital expenditure reductions and management efforts resulted in a $36.4 million year-onyear reduction in debt (to $2,309.1 million before lease liabilities), and a positive free cash flow (cash from operations less investments) of $214.6 million.

Shareholders’ equity was $1,418.6 million at year end, compared to $1,376.7 million a year ago.

Stolt Tankers’ operating revenue was $1,113.1 million, compared to $1,147.9 million in 2019. Operating profit was $84.6 million, up from $56.7 million a year ago.

Higher bunker costs – caused by the switch to low-sulphur fuel – negatively impacted first-quarter results, as did the continuing scheduling issues from the 2019 Stolt Groenland incident. However, results improved over the year as bunker prices fell, resulting in a full-year decrease in bunker costs of $45.7 million.

Port charges also decreased as there were fewer operating days. The share of profit from joint ventures increased, due to improved results in deep-sea trade and lower interest rates, which more than offset the pandemic’s effects on scheduling and the need for costly ship rerouting to make overdue crew changes.

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16th March 2021