CMA CGM Outperforms, Nets $51 mln 3Q Profit
In third-quarter 2015, CMA CGM once again outperformed the market average in an industry shaped by a sharp fall in freight rates and overcapacity in certain markets. Freight rates were especially weak on certain lines, including Asia-Europe. Other lines such as Transpacific routes continued to benefit from a better balance between supply and demand. CMA CGM has adjusted its capacity accordingly.
Volumes carried jumped 3.4% to 3.3 million TEUs, helping to stem the 9.0% decline in the Group's revenue to $4.0 billion.
There was a further fall in unit costs over the period, down 10.7% on the back of the decline in bunker prices. The Group protected its margins, reporting core EBIT of $158 million and a core EBIT margin of 4% over the quarter.
The Group delivered net profit of $51 million, thanks to its global footprint, commercial dynamism, constant ability to adapt and strict operating discipline.
Lastly, CMA CGM has a strong financial position. In early July, the Group redeemed the last of its bonds maturing in 2017 and 2019 out of proceeds from its June 2015 bond issue.
Review of operations in the first nine months of 2015
The Group's performance over the first nine months of 2015 demonstrated its ability to deliver long-term profitable growth and confirmed the strength of its business model.
In all, 9.7 million TEUs were carried during the period, up 6.5% on the first nine months of 2014. Despite the sharp fall in freight rates, consolidated revenue came in at $12.1 billion, down a slight 3.3% on the same period in 2014.
Core EBIT surged 39.3% over the period to $889 million versus $638 million in the first nine months of 2014, lifting the core EBIT margin to 7.3% for the period.Net profit leapt 56% to $613 million.
During the third quarter, the Group took delivery of two 18,000-TEU vessels, CMA CGM Bougainville and CMA CGM Zheng He, bringing its 18,000-TEU fleet to five. A sixth such vessel will join the fleet in the fourth quarter. CMA CGM also took delivery of three 2,100-TEU Guyane Max vessels.
Intra-European shipping company OPDR was consolidated by the Group with effect from 1 July. OPDR rounds out the Group's offer in this market, where it is already present through its subsidiary MacAndrews.
CMA CGM continued to bolster its presence in Africa, opening new agencies and developing new ground transport solutions. In August 2015, it was also named the successful bidder for the 25-year Kribi Container Terminal concession in Cameroon.
The container shipping sector is facing lower-than-expected volume growth, putting pressure on freight rates for many lines in the short term. Against this backdrop, the Group is continuing to make various capacity adjustments in order to maintain satisfactory load rates and optimise the use of its vessels.
Freight rates are expected to remain weak in fourth-quarter 2015. The market should rebalance during 2016.
Leveraging its business model based on a global presence, commercial dynamism and operating discipline, the CMA CGM Group should continue to outperform the industry average going forward.