The Board of Directors of France-based CMA CGM, the world’s third largest container shipping Group, met under the chairmanship of Jacques R. Saadé to review the financial statements for the six months ending 30 June 2010.

The recovery in business that began to emerge in late 2009, gained further momentum during the first six months of 2010.

Revenue for the period amounted to $6.8 billion, up 41% over first-half 2009, while freight volumes rose by nearly 22% year-on-year to 4.4 million teu*. The lower fixed-cost base resulted in one of the shipping industry’s highest operating margins (EBITDA), at 15.5% for the first half and 18.8% for the second quarter alone.

These results reflect the Group’s strategic decisions to invest in large containerships and to deploy a cost-reduction plan. Other contributing factors were the upturn in the global economy, which drove an increase in both volumes carried and freight rates, and the strong commitment of all of the Group’s teams.

With its international presence through its own network of agencies, especially in China, CMA CGM Group is ideally positioned to strengthen its role as a leading global operator in its different markets.

First-Half 2010 Financial Highlights H1 2009 H1 2010
Revenue in US$ millions 4,796 6,770
Volumes in million TEU 3.6 4.4
EBITDA in US$ millions (568) 1,051
Operating margin (as % of revenue) -11.9% 15.5%
Net profit/(loss) in US$ millions (518) 864

Outlook for 2010

To keep pace with the growth in freight volumes, CMA CGM Group is continuing to expand its fleet, taking delivery of six newbuildings in July and August. These included two 13,800-teu vessels (CMA CGM Amerigo Vespucci and CMA CGM Corte Real) and two 11,400-teu ships (CMA CGM Leo and CMA CGM Pegasus), which represent a strong competitive advantage for the Group. New ships have also been chartered in, bringing the total fleet to 394 units, of which 93 are owned.

Nevertheless, competition remains sustained in a still uneven global economy. In the second half, the Group will continue to reduce costs, in order to optimise its business model and consolidate its growth on reinforced financial bases. In this regard, CMA CGM is pursuing its discussions with investors with the objective to reinforce its equity.

Second-quarter performance is expected to continue over the third quarter and year-end trends remain positive.

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