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CMA CGM reports 41% increase in half-yearly revenue

Date: 15/09/2010

France-based CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping group and operator of the Malta Freeport, has reported half-yearly revenue at $6.8 billion, up 41 per cent over first-half 2009. The group said the recovery in business that began to emerge in late 2009 has gained further momentum in the first six months of this year.

Freight volumes rose by nearly 22 per cent year-on-year to 4.4 million 20-foot equivalent units. The lower fixed-cost base resulted in one of the shipping industry’s highest operating margins with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at 15.5 per cent for the first half and 18.8 per cent for the second quarter alone. The net profit for the first six months reached $864 million.

CMA CGM said these results reflected the group’s strategic decisions to invest in large containerships and to deploy a cost-reduction plan. Other contributing factors were the upturn in the global economy, which drove an increase in volumes carried and freight rates, and the strong commitment of all of the group’s teams.

With its international presence through its own network of agencies, especially in China, CMA CGM Group said it was ideally positioned to strengthen its role as a leading global operator in its different markets.

To keep pace with the growth in freight volumes, CMA CGM Group is continuing to expand its fleet, taking delivery of six new buildings in July and August. These included two 13,800-teu vessels (the CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci and the CMA CGM Corte Real) and two 11,400-teu ships (the CMA CGM Leo and the CMA CGM Pegasus), which represent a strong competitive advantage for the group.

New ships have also been chartered in, bringing the total fleet to 394 units, of which 93 are owned.

Competition remains sustained in a still uneven global economy. In the second half, the group will continue to reduce costs to optimise its business model and consolidate its growth on reinforced financial bases.

In this regard, CMA CGM is pursuing its discussions with investors with the objective to reinforce its equity.

A few weeks ago, the company said this year will be shaped by the opening of the group’s new head office, the CMA CGM Tower, which will consolidate nearly 2,000 staff members currently based at seven locations.



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