The group saw almost a 60% rise in consolidated net profit to US$268m compared to the same period last year, of which US$249m relates to the re-organisation of port operations, including the sale of its 49% stake in Terminal Link to China Merchants Holdings International.
Consolidated revenue amounted to US$4bn, up 5.6% on the first quarter and down 2.4% year-on-year. The decline reflected a 6.9% increase in volumes carried, to 2.9m teu, even as the group’s average freight rate shrank 8.6% over the period, amid an even sharper contraction in the industry as a whole.
Over the same period the group reduced net debt to US$3.8bn at 30 June, a decrease of some US$385m since the end of March. Equity was also increased to US$4.8bn, up US$363m over the quarter.
Fleet capacity also rose by almost 9% over the quarter and the period also saw CMA CGM, Maersk Line and MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company S.A. decide to create the P3 Network, an operational alliance on East-West trades designed to optimise fleet. The agreement, which remains subject to the approval of various competition authorities, is expected to come into effect in Q2 2014.
Looking to the third quarter, the group said it expects to benefit from an improved operating performance resulting from ongoing cost discipline and higher freight rates.