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S&P upgrade for CMA-CGM

MARSEILLE: CMA-CGM has reported Q1 2014 revenue of US$3.94 billion – up 2.7 percent from the same period last year. Net profit rose 1.2 percent for the quarter to US$97 million.

The company says it limited a fall in revenue per TEU to 2.9 percent compared to Q1 2013 – less than the drop in the average Shanghai Containerized Freight Index of -8.6 percent. Volumes rose 5.8 percent to 2.8 million TEUs as capacity rose five percent to 1.56 billion boxes over 429 ships.

CMA CGMDuring the quarter the company says it reorganized and improved coverage of Africa and between Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent; upgraded services between North Europe and the Mediterranean; and opened its own agencies in Somalia, Mauritania, Botswana and Colombia. CMA CGM's logistics unit also expanded services in Thailand, Brazil and India.

The amount of corporate net debt was reduced by 4.6 percent during the quarter and now represents less than 75 percent of group equity. As a result in May S&P upgraded the group's rating to B+ with a "stable outlook".

As the company awaits the delivery of a new 9,000 TEU ship 'Danube', it says "after a dip at the beginning of the second quarter, freight rates are now back at supportive levels but should nevertheless remain volatile."

Group founder Jacques Saadé has appointed his son Rodolphe Saadé vice-chairman executive officer with a view to succeeding him "when the time comes". Daughter Tanya Saadé Zeenny is also an executive officer of the group and in addition to being general secretary, is now responsible for global accounts and marketing, administration, institutional relations, the environment and the CMA CGM Foundation.

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