Air Freight News

CMA CGM: Financial Results

Feb 23, 2024
  • Gradual deterioration in the maritime shipping environment throughout 2023, including in the fourth quarter, causing an anticipated year-on-year decline in revenue and operating profit..
  • A year shaped by the Group’s sustained expansion and investment drive, with new acquisitions across the transport and logistics value chain and capital projects to support decarbonization.
  • A robust Group positioned to weather an uncertain 2024.

Commenting on the results for the year, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, said:

“As our sector normalized, the Group's performance remained solid in 2023. Shipping market conditions deteriorated progressively during the year. Our results are down as we expected. Logistics, on the other hand, is proving more resilient, and accounts for a significant part of our business.Our Group now stands on two solid pillars, which will enable us to weather cyclical changes more efficiently. Backed by our financial strength and the commitment of our employees, we will continue to invest in the transformation of the Group, particularly decarbonization and artificial intelligence, in order to pursue our sustainable and profitable development.”. During its meeting, the Board of Directors approved the consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2023.

2023 HIGHLIGHTS

I. Demonstrating resilience in a gradually worsening maritime shipping environment

After two extraordinary years in 2021 and 2022, the transport and logistics industry experienced a year of transition and normalization in 2023. In late 2022, widespread inflation began to weigh on household purchasing power in Europe and the United States, dampening demand for consumer goods. The decline in demand was exacerbated by major inventory reductions in the first half of 2023, as supply chains readjusted.

2023 also saw a slowdown in economic growth after the strong post-pandemic recovery, with rising inflation and a shift in consumer spending to services. These factors pushed down demand for shipping and logistics services.

Despite this challenging environment, the CMA CGM Group leveraged its financial strength to pursue its strategy of investing in its shipping, port, logistics and air freight capabilities, while maintaining its commitment to the energy transition.

  1. Maritime shipping and port terminals: a year of normalization, with deteriorated conditions in the final quarter

For the maritime shipping industry, 2023 was a year of contrasting halves. Behind the relative stability in volumes transported by the Group’s shipping lines over the full year (up 0.5%) lay major disparities between the first and second halves, as well as among the main shipping routes.

  • In the first half, container volumes fell by a sharp 2.7% due to sluggish demand for consumer goods and the impact of inventory reduction. The supply-demand mismatch weighed on freight rates.
  • The second half saw a rebound in demand, which increased volumes 3.8% over the period. Nevertheless, freight rates remained under pressure due to an influx of new shipping capacity, which maintained the imbalance between supply and demand.

In comparison to 2022, 2023 volumes carried by the Group on the North-South routes (up 4.2%) and intra-regional lines (up 3.3%) proved more resilient than on the East-West routes (down 2.7%), thanks in particular to the sustained robust growth of certain emerging economies. In addition, CMA CGM continued to invest in industry-leading port infrastructure in 2023. In the United States, it completed the USD 2.8 billion acquisition of the GCT Bayonne and New York container terminals, now renamed Port Liberty Bayonne and Port Liberty New York. The acquisition has strengthened CMA CGM’s footprint on the US East Coast, supplementing its presence on the West Coast with the FMS terminal in Los Angeles. In Nigeria, in February 2023, the Group inaugurated phase 1 of the new-generation Lekki Freeport multi-user container terminal, bringing the number of terminals and port projects in which CMA CGM has invested to 58.

  1. Logistics: expanding capabilities with new acquisitions

In 2023, the CMA CGM Group pursued its strategy of developing an integrated suite of logistics solutions to support its customers’ supply chains. Following the acquisition of CEVA Logistics in 2019 and Ingram Micro CLS, Colis Privé and GEFCO in 2022, the Group continued its transformation in 2023 with an agreement to acquire Bolloré Logistics, which will make it one of the world's top five providers of transport and logistics services.

C. Other activities

CMA CGM AIR CARGO CMA CGM CARGO continued to expand over the year and now operates a fleet of five aircraft, which will be strengthened in 2024 with the delivery of two Boeing 777F freighters. Specialty maritime shipping In 2023, the Group consolidated into a single specialty maritime shipping department its car carrier business and La Méridionale, a Marseille-based company which operates ro-pax cargo and passenger ships whose acquisition was completed in 2023. Attesting to its ambition for La Méridionale, the Group also announced that it has ordered two LNG-powered ships for the company, which will sail under the French flag, using the first register categoryr. The vessel’s design will deliver both unrivalled passenger comfort and improved environmental performance, with a 50% reduction in CO2 emissions. Media In 2023, the Group continued to expand Whynot Media (La Provence, Corse Matin) with the acquisition of La Tribune, France’s leading pure-play digital finance and business media platform, and the subsequent launch of La Tribune Dimanche.

II. A Group committed to sustainable growth

In 2023, the CMA CGM Group continued to support its decarbonization strategy and invest in improving the environmental performance and energy efficiency of its operations. Through its Foundation and the engagement of its 155,000 employees operating in 160 countries, the Group once again demonstrated its values by undertaking initiatives around the world in response to humanitarian crises and to support education. The CMA CGM Group is committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and intends to accelerate the energy transition in shipping and logistics. In 2023, the Group reduced its CO2 emissions by around one million tonnes. The CMA CGM Group has initiated a number of ambitious partnerships to step up the energy transition in the maritime shipping and logistics industry. At the COP28 conference, Rodolphe Saadé announced a collaborative venture with the chief executives of the world’s leading shipping companies, proposing a shared vision and solutions-oriented measures to decarbonize the industry. Investments

  • EUR 1.5 billion over five years to create PULSE - CMA CGM Energy Fund, to step up the energy transition across the Group’s worldwide maritime, overland and air freight shipping and logistics business base. In 2023, PULSE committed EUR 453 million to 40 projects, including CARBON (France’s largest solar panel production plant), Verkor (an EV battery gigafactory) and Neoline (a wind-powered ro-ro vessel now under construction).
  • More than USD 15 billion invested in a fleet of nearly 120 LNG and methanol-powered ships by 2027.
  • The Group is upgrading its operating assets to improve their energy efficiency. With this goal in mind, CMA CGM is continually improving the performance of its proprietary fleet by innovating in hydrodynamics, aerodynamics and other design factors. Over the past 10 years for example, it has invested more than USD 200 million to upgrade its ships with deflectors, bulbous bows, propellers and other improvements.
  • Built in 2023, CMA CGM took delivery of the CMA CGM MERMAID, first vessel in a series of 10 containerships with a unique design in the world for better energy performance.

2023 OPERATING AND FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE

Group: robust performance in a challenging market environment

Q4 2022Q4 202320222023
GroupGroupGroupGroup
ChangeChange
Revenue, in USD billion16.8910.57(37.4)%74.5047.02(36.9)%
EBITDA, in USD billion5.691.00(82.5)%33.319.01(72.9)%
EBITDA margin33.7%9.4%-24.3 pts44.7%19.2%-25.5 pts
Net income, Group share, in USD billion3.04(0.09)(3.13)24.883.64(21.24)

Full-year 2023 revenue stood at USD 47.0 billion, a 36.9% year-on-year decline that was primarily attributable to the deteriorating conditions in maritime shipping markets. EBITDA came to USD 9.0 billion, representing an EBITDA margin of 19.2% that was down 25.5 points on the year before. Net income, Group share amounted to USD 3.6 billion. With net debt of USD 3.7 billion, the balance sheet is solid and provides a firm foundation for the Group to weather the cyclical downturn with confidence, while continuing to invest.

Maritime shipping: performance impacted by the industry’s return to normal

Q4 2022Q4 202320222023
ShippingShippingShippingShipping
ChangeChange
Volume carried, in TEU million5.155.506.8%21.7421.850.5%
Revenue, in USD billion12.376.60(46.6)%58.9531.39(46.7)%
EBITDA, in USD billion5.330.63(88.2)%31.647.40(76.6)%
EBITDA margin43.1%9.5%-33.6 pts53.7%23.6%-30.1 pts

In all, 21.8 million TEUs were carried over the year, up 0.5% from 2022. Revenue from the maritime shipping operations fell by 46.7% year-on-year, to USD 31.4 billion. EBITDA stood at USD 7.4 billion, versus USD 31.6 billion the year before. EBITDA margin contracted by 30.1 points to 23.6%, impacted by the 47% drop in average revenue per TEU for the year to USD 1,437.

Logistics: further diversification and improved performance

Q4 2022Q4 202320222023
LogisticsLogisticsLogisticsLogistics
ChangeChange
Revenue, in USD billion4.583.90(14.9)%16.0915.21(5.5)%
EBITDA, in USD million27434325.5%1,2231,37612.5%
EBITDA margin6.0%8.8%+2.8 pts7.6%9.0%+1.4 pts

Revenue from the logistics business slid slightly by 5.5% over the year to USD 15.2 billion, primarily due to the return to normal operating conditions in the freight management activities. EBITDA came to USD 1.4 billion, 12.5% higher than in 2022. EBITDA margin came to 9.0%, reflecting the turnaround in contract logistics and very good performance in finished vehicle logistics. Other activities Other businesses include terminals, CMA CGM Air Cargo and other Group investments.

Q4 2022Q4 202320222023
OtherOtherOtherOther
ChangeChange
Revenue, in USD million42254930.0%1,8062,00110.8%
EBITDA, in USD million9629(69.8)%447236(47.3)%
EBITDA margin22.6%5.3%-17.4 pts24.8%11.8%-13.0 pts

OUTLOOK 2024 is likely to be shaped by sluggish global economic growth, although global trade for goods is expected to rebound from 2023 lows, driven by consumer spending and replenishing inventories. Volume growth should remain strong in the first half, supported by these base-line effects, but the second half looks more uncertain. In addition, new container shipping capacity is expected to come into service, pushing global supply in excess of forecasted demand, and leading to an anticipated adverse impact on freight rates. However, late 2023 saw the emergence of new geopolitical tensions with the situation in the Red Sea and the targeted attacks on merchant ships, creating risks and major uncertainties for the maritime shipping industry. In this environment, the Group is paying close attention to the changing economic and geopolitical situation, while remaining confident in its ability to weather the cycle thanks to its business diversification and financial strength.

Similar Stories

https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/Baltimore_bridge_collapse_1.jpg
Bridge disaster in Baltimore gets FBI criminal investigation
View Article
https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/ILViz.png
New Supply Chain Research: Item-level inventory traceability now a priority
View Article
Cass Transportation Indexes - March 2024

The shipments component of the Cass Freight Index® fell 0.2% m/m in March, as for-hire demand remains broadly consistent. The index fell 2.3% m/m in seasonally adjusted (SA) terms, giving…

View Article
https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/Book-Title_A-History-of-Greek-Owned-Shipping_Cropped.jpg
AJOT book review:  “A History of Greek-Owned Shipping”
View Article
https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/CMA_CGM_vessel_1.jpg
CMA CGM - update - Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco Roro services
View Article
https://www.ajot.com/images/uploads/article/Singapore_Ships-in-the-water.jpg
Leading maritime cities report 2024 - amid a sea of change, Singapore retains top spot
View Article