CMA CGM expects the slowdown in container shipping to continue in 2023


By Augustin Turpin and Dina Kartit

Mar 3 (Reuters) – CMA CGM expects the sharp slowdown observed in the fourth quarter of 2022 to continue in the current year, the French transport and shipping group called on Friday, citing inflationary pressures weighing on consumption.

The Marseille-based company, which is privately controlled by the founding Saade family, expects the balance between supply and demand to remain difficult in 2023 as capacity in both ocean shipping and air freight is expected to increase.

The demand outlook appears uncertain, CMA CGM added, citing retail destocking in the United States as consumer purchasing power has come under pressure.

“The trends of the second half of 2022 will remain in play in 2023 as market conditions in the transport and logistics industry continue to deteriorate,” the group said in a statement.

The unlisted shipping group saw revenue decline 3.6% year over year to $16.89 billion in the fourth quarter, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $5.69 billion, 30 9% less than last year.

Market conditions in the transport and logistics industry continued to deteriorate in the second half of 2022, the group said, citing geopolitical tensions, macroeconomic uncertainty and a sharp drop in freight rates.

To address these challenges, CMA CGM said it has reinvested nearly 90% of its net earnings in 2022 into its industrial assets and capabilities, strengthened its balance sheet, and improved its financial flexibility.

Full-year revenue for 2022 was $74.5 billion, up 33% from 2021, while EBITDA reached $33.3 billion, up 44.2% year over year.

(Reporting by Dina Kartit and Augustin Turpin, editing by Dominique Vidalon and David Gregorio)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023.

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