CMA CGM reported decreases in revenue and EBITDA in its first-quarter 2023 financial results.

The company saw revenues decrease by 30.2%, compared with the same period last year, to US$12.722 billion. Its EBITDA fell by 61.3% in the same period to US$3.435 billion.

Average revenue per TEU amounted to US$1766, down 37% from first-quarter 2022, the company reported.

CMA CGM carried a total of 5 million TEU in the quarter, a decrease of 5.3% on the first quarter of 2022.

The company pointed to several factors in this decrease, including a sharp decrease in household consumption of goods in Europe and North America.

This decrease was due to price inflation and an increase in consumer spending on services. CMA CGM said inventory adjustments in Europe and North America weighed on imports, particularly from Asia.

The company said the relatively brisk activity in regions such as Latin America and Africa, together with eased congestion, were insufficient to offset the decline on the main East-West routes.

CMA CGM Group CEO and chairman Rodolphe Saadé said after two exceptional years, the industry had entered a phase of “normalisation” due to the slowdown in global growth, inflation and a destocking phenomenon that is continuing in many parts of the world.

“Despite this deteriorated context, our first-quarter results are extremely solid,” he said.

“They are the fruit of our investments – more than US$30 billion committed over the past two years – which enable us to constantly broaden and strengthen our range of transport and logistics solutions for our customers.”

The company said freight demand continued to slow over the period.

The company’s consolidated revenue from maritime shipping operations amounted to US$8.9 billion, down 40.3% from first-quarter 2022.

For the ocean shipping division, EBITDA totalled US$3.0 billion, 64.3% lower than in first-quarter 2022.

In contrast, revenue from logistics operations totalled US$3.9 billion in the first quarter of the year, with EBITDA increasing 36.9% to US$343 million.

This growth in activity reflects the inclusion of the acquisitions of Ingram CLS, Gefco and Colis Privé in the scope of consolidation as from the second quarter of 2022, while the sea and air freight activities were simultaneously returning to normal in line with market dynamics.

In the first-quarter of 2023, the CMA CGM Group also signed an agreement with La Poste group to establish a closer business relationship capitalising on their respective expertise in parcel delivery, transportation and storage.

Revenue from other activities (including port terminals, air cargo, media etc.) increased by 5.3% to US$405 million. EBITDA came in at US$45 million, down 47%, in particular reflecting the easing of port congestion.