French container line operator CMA CGM showed “strong and profitable growth” in the second quarter as consolidated net profit rose 67% year on year to USD 156 million.
Group revenues dipped 2.1% to USD 4.11 billion despite carryings up 6.2% to 3.3 million teu but the group said that a 10.9% reduction in average unit costs had enabled it to stay ahead of the 7.8% decline in average revenue per container carried.
The group acknowledged that the reduction in its unit costs had been largely the result of sharply reduced oil prices but said that it had nevertheless significantly outperformed the market despite the low freight rates and overcapacity afflicting the industry.
The group offered no profit forecast for the year as a whole but said that it expected to continue to outperform the market and deliver higher profitability thanks to the “core strengths” of its business model, namely the high quality of its fleet, the diversity of its line network, its responsiveness and commercial dynamism.
It warned nevertheless that freight rates looked likely to remain “particularly volatile” on Asia-Europe and Asia-Mediterranean lines and that capacity adjustments would continue to be necessary.
It pointed to the reshuffle of the FAL 1 and FAL 3 services it announced in June as an example of the kind of adjustments it would be making but told IHS Maritime that capacity increases were also possible on markets showing growth like the US.
Over the first half as a whole, the group’s carryings were up 8.2% to 6.4 million teus but revenues were only stable at USD 8.1 billion. Net profits were up almost threefold, however, at USD 562 million after first quarter profits up more than fourfold to USD 406 million.