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THE first quarter results for French ocean carrier CMA CGM revealed huge revenues and profits against a backdrop of increasing costs and a darkening outlook.

For the first quarter of 2022, CMA CGM’s revenue reached US$18.2 billion, up 70% on the first quarter of 2021. The company cited its shipping activities as the driver behind this increase.

EBITDA came in at US$8.9 billion (up 179% on 1Q21), representing an EBITDA margin of 48.7%.

Over the first quarter of 2022, the group transported 5.3 million TEU, representing a decrease of 2.8% compared with the first quarter of 2021. The company said volume growth is constrained by port and inland congestion which has led to longer transit times for vessels.

The group’s shipping revenue reached US$14.8 billion, representing a 73.2% increase compared with the same period in 2021.

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EBITDA for the shipping part of the company was US$8.5 billion. This represented an EBITDA margin of 57.5%, up 22.8 points on the same period last year. The EBITDA margin increase was driven by an average revenue per TEU of US$2800 against a backdrop of higher operating expenses (notably bunkers, vessel chartering costs, port handling). The company said operating costs thus increased by more than 16% compared with the same period in 2021. Bunker costs have increased by approximately 46%.

CMA CGM chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé said during the first quarter the company “accelerated the deployment of its strategy to become a world leader in integrated logistics”.

“We have also taken further steps in our energy transition by forging innovative partnerships to develop low-carbon fuels and by deciding to diversify the energy sources for our future vessels,” Mr Saadé said.

“Due to strong demand, lack of available transport capacity and persistent port congestion, tensions in global supply chains are expected to continue. We remain mobilised to improve service quality and to meet the logistics challenges of our customers. We are also vigilant in the face of the risk of a deterioration in the global economic situation, linked to the pandemic, the rise in inflation and the war in Ukraine.”

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