After ending 2014 with an 8.1% growth in volumes carried, the world’s third largest container shipping company CMA CGM announced further expansion of its fleet, including three 20,600 TEU boxships to be delivered in 2017.
The French container carrier transported 12.1 million TEUs in 2014, compared to 11.3 million carried in 2013. The increase in volumes was driven largely by the introduction of new vessels to the fleet, and the recently launched Ocean Three shipping alliance with CSCL and UASC.
Higher volumes translated to higher revenues, which stood at USD 16,7 billion, 5.3% more compared to USD 15.9 million recorded in 2013.
Consolidated net profit stood at USD 584 million for the year, a 43.2% increase from the USD 408 million reported in 2013, which included the gain from the disposal of the 49% stake in Terminal Link.
In addition to the operating performance, this increase was driven by a reduction in net finance costs, to USD 222 million from USD 445 million, including the USD 70 million positive impact of the euro-dollar exchange rate.
CMA CGM introduced 17 new boxships this year, increasing its fleet to 445 vessels. The new vessels also improved the carrier’s TEU capacity by 92,000 TEUs, which now stands at 1.648 million TEUs.
Looking ahead, CMA CGM expects the container shipping market to continue to expand by around 5% in volume, led by sustained growth in the US economy and the improving outlook in Europe, albeit with a certain amount of geopolitical uncertainty.
The CMA CGM fleet will be further expanded by the delivery of six new 18,000 TEU vessels (of which three owned), twelve 9,400 TEU class vessels under long-term charter and three owned 2,100 TEU GuyanaMax vessels.
In 2015, CMA CGM also expects to further benefit from its Ocean Three strategic alliance with CSCL and UASC, as well as from its agreements with Hamburg Süd in South and North America and the consolidation of OPDR.