That a French oil group like TotalEnergies is making profits unseen for at least 15 years last year thanks to a brilliant recovery from the coronavirus is already an indicator. And that the French shipowner is getting closer to that result – while supply chains are still suffering from harmonica orders due to the pandemic – this figure is even more surprising. However, this is the report presented by the CMA CGM this week, with net income that reaches an impressive $17.9 billion for 2021.
Even more dizzyingly, in a year, the Marseille group, which diversified into logistics by integrating Swiss-based Ceva Logistics since 2019, increased its profit tenfold ($1.755 billion in 2020 after a $229 million loss the previous year). .)
To expand its empire, CMA CGM also jumped into air travel by launching a French airline called CMA CGM Air Cargo to be considered.at least ten aircraft by 2026.”
Net debt reduction
Paradoxically, tensions in the consumer shipping industry since the summer of 2020 after the onset of the health crisis intensified in 2021. Carriers faced logistical challenges, in particular lack of equipment and containers, as well as congestion in ports. which lengthened the waiting time, which led to price increases far exceeding the increase in shipowners’ costs.
With an impressive improvement in its position, the group of 130,000 employees continued its activities.strengthening its financial structureby reducing his debt so drastically: his net debt was reduced by $9.2 billion in 2021 to $7.7 billion at the end of the year.
The cost of energy and the Ukrainian crisis
The turnover of the world’s third largest shipowner increased by 78% to $55.98 billion, mainly due to maritime activities.
“We achieved excellent results in 2021 thanks to extremely favorable market conditions”CEO Rodolphe Saade soberly commented, quoted on Friday in a press release presenting the full-year results.
Transportation prices have risen sharply, which has greatly benefited the shipowner, but management reports a “dramatic increase in operating costs” of almost 30% in the fourth quarter, “due in particular to increased energy costs, cargo handling and freight costs” . .
Although he planned to reinvest his profits (additional 14 billion) into the production apparatus, new transport facilities, containers, port terminals … nevertheless, he remains on the alert due to the war in Ukraine.
The French industrialist ispay particular attention to the evolution of the current geopolitical situation“, noting that he suspended his rotation of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, which accounted for about 2% of his turnover, and”ensures compliance with the sanctions applicable to all its operations”.
“While the decisions made at this stage do not have a material impact on the results of the group, the impact on the prospects for a worsening geopolitical environment, possible macroeconomic implications or decisions that may arise cannot be assessed,” management acknowledges.
In the field of maritime transport, CMA CGM wants to position itself as a leader in the field of logistics in order to provide its e-commerce customers with a “end-to-end” offer, such as announced purchase of private parcels and transport operations. ‘Ingram Microphone.