CMA CGM’s profit edges down in 2015

French container shipping major CMA CGM has reported a volume growth of 6.3% year-on-year in 2015, reaching 13 million TEUs, a major factor that helped curb further decline of the company’s consolidated revenue that went down 6.4% year-on-year reaching USD 15.7 billion.

The group’s consolidated net profit had a pretty stable run, totaling in USD 567 million, somewhat lower than in 2014 when the company recorded USD 584 million in profit benefiting from a positive exchange rate impact.

The company attributed the volume growth to the new Ocean Three Alliance in place since January 2015 with China Shipping and UASC along with the company’s expansion in the United States.

“Our operating performance once again illustrates the strength of our business model and our capacity to adapt. In a challenging market environment, we continued to roll out our strategy while adjusting our cost and financing structure to best effect,” says Rodolphe Saadé, CMA CGM Group Vice-Chairman.

With respect to the outlook for 2016, the company said that the very start of 2016 is tough and marked by freight rates under pressures which will impact industry profitability.

Against this backdrop, CMA CGM said it would continue working on optimising its lines and cost reduction program combining “rigorous operational practices, optimal fleet utilization, reduction of energy consumption, and strict control of all its spending.”

The french liner also plans to resume its acquisition of Singapore-based NOL, the world’s 12th-largest shipping company. The USD 2.4 billion acquisition, which is pending clearance from the various competent authorities, is said to be “progressing in line with the initially announced timeline” and should be closed by the end of the year.

“At the same time, we entered a decisive new stage in our development with the project to acquire NOL. The project is progressing in line with expectations. Combined with our intrinsic capacity to deliver solid operating results, this project will make us more competitive going forward,” Saadé went on to say.

CMA CGM’s acquisition of shares in proposed takeover of NOL is about to reach 5% mark with the latest share acquisition.

The combination of APL’s vessels (0.54 Mteu) with ships of the CMA CGM Group (1.79 Mteu) would create a combined fleet of 2.33 Mteu with an 11.5% global capacity share, based on Alphaliner figures.

This year will also see CMA CGM deploy its flagship fleet of six 18,000-TEU vessels in the Transpacific, starting at the end of May.

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