The world's No 3 container shipping company chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saade attributed the positive result to the carrier's agility, digital transformation, and synergy with subsidiary CEVA Logistics.
The shipping segment of CMA CGM represents the vast majority of its business, and annual revenue rose four per cent compared with 2019 to $24.2 billion as average revenue per TEU grew 6.8 per cent to $1,154. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) of $5.5 billion increased 71.1 per cent year on year.
The group's logistics business increased through 2020, supported by air freight and the recovery of contract logistics activities following the reopening of warehouses that had to close during the second quarter, as well as the renegotiation of some contracts.
CEVA Logistics continued towards profit, increasing revenue 3.1 per cent year on year to $7.4 billion, while EBITDA improved 12 per cent to $609 million. While CEVA reported a net loss of $105 million, it was a $56 million improvement on the loss of 2019.
CMA CGM joins its peers in reporting a highly profitable 2020. Maersk posted a $2.9 billion net profit in 2020, and while Hapag-Lloyd has not yet disclosed its 2020 results, the carrier in January reported a 30 per cent year-on-year increase in EBITDA to $3.1 billion for the full year.
Cosco Shipping Holdings, parent of Cosco Shipping and Hong Kong's OOCL, reported a 47 per cent increase in net profit to $1.5 billion, while HMM posted a huge financial turnaround in 2020.
The Marseilles-based carrier was also able to repay loans and shave $900 million off its debt during the year, with the net debt at December 31 totalling $16.89 billion.