Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, commented on the release of the 2019 fourth quarter and full year results:
"CMA CGM's shipping segment delivered a robust performance in 2019, with an improvement in profitability for the third consecutive quarter, thus outperforming our main peers in the fourth quarter. These results were driven by our development strategy, particularly in short sea lines, and our ability to cut costs.
The beginning of 2020 has been impacted by the Coronavirus epidemic. The Group has taken specific measures to protect its employees worldwide. This health crisis has also affected global trade and we have therefore adapted our shipping services. Thanks to CEVA, we have been able to provide alternative solutions to our customers to avoid disruptions to their supply chains.
Today, we are seeing an upturn in business in China, with production ramping-up in factories and exports increasing.”
The Group's shipping business delivered a further improvement of profitability, once again demonstrating the strength of its strategy, which is based on the following core pillars:
- The performance improvement and cost reduction plan, which reduced unit operating expenses by USD 132 per TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) year-on-year in the fourth quarter;
- The Group's short sea lines, which grew faster than the market, with Containerships in Europe, CNC in Asia, Comanav in North Africa and Mercosul in Brazil;
- Retrofitting of the existing fleet and delivery of new vessels.