Fuel costs hit CMA CGM’s profit although volumes up

Fuel costs hit CMA CGM’s profit although volumes up
CMA CGM will operate 111 ships on the alliance's new services

CMA CGM’s net income fell by 68% in the third quarter to US$103.1m as higher fuel prices affected unit costs, offsetting a rise in throughput on multiple trades.

Unit costs rose by 7.7% (US$77 per teu), mainly due to the market price of fuel, resulting in an increase of US$55 per teu compared to the third quarter of 2017.

The carrier handled 5.5% more containers year-on-year, exceeding 5m teu over the period while total revenue increased by 6.3% to US$6.06bn.

Revenue per container increased slightly by 0.8% year-on-year while it increased 4.9% compared to the second quarter of 2018.

The carrier handled a total of 5.26m teu, attributing the increase in throughput to the strength of most of the trades, particularly the Transpacific, India/Oceania and Africa lines.

Although worse than a year ago, the company’s financial performance improved compared to the second quarter of 2018 as it posted an operating income of US$241m, representing a core Earnings Before Interest & Tax (EBIT) margin of 4% as compared to 1.2% in Q2.

In a statement, CMA CGM claimed that the performance is the result of the group’s ability to leverage its size and global network to maximise its revenues, despite the rise in fuel price.

In October, CMA CGM increased its equity stake in CEVA Logistics to 33% in order to strengthen the company’s development project.

In the same month, the carrier also completed the acquisition of intra-regional shipper Containerships with the aim of expanding the group’s regional coverage.