CMA CGM posts first quarter net loss of US$248 million
FRENCH shipping group CMA CGM has suffered a net loss of US$248 million for the first quarter of 2012 and an EBITDA loss of $31 million, despite a 2.6 per cent rise in consolidated revenue against the same quarter a year earlier to US$3.6 billion. Saturday, 09.Jun.2012, 02:03 (GMT+3)
FRENCH shipping group CMA CGM has suffered a net loss of US$248 million for the first quarter of 2012 and an EBITDA loss of $31 million, despite a 2.6 per cent rise in consolidated revenue against the same quarter a year earlier to US$3.6 billion.
The company attributed the loss-making results to a particularly difficult first quarter shaped by persistent overcapacity that prompted freight rates to fall to new lows during the period, while oil prices climbed sharply until mid-March, with Rotterdam bunker prices rising to nearly $720 per ton.
First quarter container shipping volumes increased by 13.4 per cent year-on-year to 2.6 million TEU, after partnering with MSC on the Asia/Northern Europe trades and with Maersk on the Asia/Mediterranean lines.
In response to the challenging market conditions, the group said it will continue to implement its cost reduction plan, which delivered $96.5 million in savings over the quarter under review. It is anticipating cost-savings of $400 million by year-end.
Looking ahead, the group is forecasting a 'strong improvement' in the second quarter against a backdrop of rising freight rates and lower fuel prices. As a result, the group said its performance has improved sharply since the beginning of the second quarter. In particular, it reached breakeven in terms of operating profit in April. It also expects to return to the black in 2012, a company statement said.
It noted that since the end of the first quarter, the market has significantly rebounded with several successful freight rate increases. On the Asia/North Europe trade, the benchmark Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) stood at $1,666 per TEU as of June 1, a 3.4-fold increase from $490/TEU in December 2011. Similar gains have been observed on the other leading trade routes, particularly the Asia/Mediterranean, Asia/US and Asia/Latin America lines.
Over the same period, oil prices have decreased significantly, with heavy fuel oil falling close to $560/ton in Rotterdam at the beginning of June, more than 20 per cent below the March peak.
APL recently celebrated the delivery of its newest and largest vessel, which is also its most environmentally-friendly and fuel-efficient. The 10,700-TEU APL Southampton, fitted with a ballast water treatment system and an electronically-controlled main engine, signals a new era of sustainable ships entering the liner's fleet. APL says it will deploy 30 more new vessels in the next three years. It also announced that it will reduce carbon emissions by 30 per cent by 2015.