First Quarter 2018 Financial Results

Volume and revenue growth in a market environment affected by the rise in oil prices

Q1 Performance

  • Growth in volumes (+15.0%) and sales (+17.1%)
  • Positive EBIT margin (+1.6%), among the best in the industry although down
  • Sharp rise in fuel oil prices (+19.4%)


  • Continued development, in a context of promising markets
  • Strengthening operational discipline and cost management
  • Implementation of Emergency Bunker Recovery Measures to offset the sharp rise in fuel oil prices
  • Acquisition of a stake of nearly 25% in CEVA Logistics with the aim to developing end-to-end solutions

On the release of the financial results, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO of the CMA CGM Group stated:

“The shipping industry is experiencing sustained growth but was hit in the first quarter by the sharp increase in bunker prices. In this environment, CMA CGM succeeded in recording a strong increase both in volumes transported and in revenue, while maintaining a positive core EBIT margin, thus demonstrating once again the relevance of our strategy. Volumes should remain high throughout the year.
In order to deal with the increase in bunker prices, which continue to rise into the second quarter, we are implementing an exceptional surcharge.
The CMA CGM Group will continue its development strategy for its customers both in maritime transportation and in building end-to-end solutions, while pursuing its digital transformation and strengthening the expertise of its teams.”

Q1 – 2017 Q1 – 2018 Q1 – 2018
Revenue in USD billions 4.62 5.41 +17.1%
Core EBIT* in USD millions 252 88 n.m
Core EBIT margin 5.5% 1.6% -3.9%
Net Income Group share in USD millions 86 (77) n.m
ROIC (return on invested capitals) 12.1%*** 10.9% -1.2%
Volumes carried in TEU millions** 4.30 4.95 +15.0%
Vessel fleet 440 494 +12.3%
Fleet capacity in TEU millions** 2.16 2.53 +17.1%
Gearing*** 1.19x*** 1.26x +0.07x

* Core EBIT excluding asset sales and depreciation and non-recurring elements
** TEU = Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit
*** On 31st December 2017

The Board of Directors of the French Group CMA CGM, a worldwide shipping company, met today under the chairmanship of Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and CEO, to review the accounts for the first quarter of 2018.


Growth in transported volumes and revenue

In the first quarter of 2018, the volumes transported by CMA CGM increased by +15.0%, faster than the industry’s growth.

This progression can be explained by the commercial success of the service offering OCEAN ALLIANCE, the strong momentum of the African/US and North America/South America lines, as well the integration of Mercosul.

Revenue per container rose slightly in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the first quarter of 2017.

The Group’s revenue in the first quarter of 2018 therefore increased by +17.1% to 5.41 billion USD compared to the same quarter last year.

Positive operating result

During the first quarter of 2018, CMA CGM recorded a core EBIT of USD 88 million.

The core EBIT margin is thus at +1.6%, a positive performance in a highly deteriorated environment, affected by a very sharp rise in unit bunker costs (+17%). Although under pressure, this core EBIT margin is one of the best in the industry.

In this context, CMA CGM maintains operational discipline and cost reduction measures aimed at strengthening its operational and financial performance. This includes actions to optimize container fleet management and improve energy efficiency.

In addition, in the context of steadily increasing bunker costs which weighs on the industry as a whole, the Group announces the implementation of Emergency Bunker Recovery Measures to offset the rise in fuel prices not factored into the freight rates.

In the first quarter, the consolidated net income Group share stands at a loss of USD -77 million, resulting notably from the unfavourable euro-dollar exchange rate variation.


Throughout the first quarter, the Group has pursued its development strategy as defined by Rodolphe Saadé, which has resulted in:

Customer Experience: a priority for CMA CGM Group

In the first quarter, the Group revealed its Customer Experience strategy to strengthen the partnership relationship between the Group and its customers, as well as to accelerate its differentiation. To this end, numerous innovative projects have been launched, including Reeflex and Serenity.

Innovation: Reeflex, a worldwide innovation for the transportation of liquids

In the first quarter, CMA CGM launched an innovative project for the transportation of liquids in temperature-controlled containers. REEFLEX greatly facilitates the transportation of liquids thanks to its innovative design and technology, which guarantee optimal conditions for safe and hygienic transportation.

Innovation: Serenity

CMA CGM launched "SERENITY”, an innovative offer of additional and complementary services to deal with unforeseen events during freight transport. With this innovation, CMA CGM relieves its customers of administrative and procedural complexities in case of unforeseen damage to their cargo.

Digitalisation: Creation of ZEBOX, its first international incubator

CMA CGM announced the creation of its first incubator for start-ups on 30 January 2018. With a surface area of 800m², it will be able to host a dozen start-ups from June 2018 onwards.

Expertise: launch of a worldwide training course for the Group's high potentials

In association with Sciences Po Paris and the Corporate Learning Alliance (CLA), CMA CGM launched the LEAD program during the first quarter. Built around three groups of about twenty participants each, this new tailor-made program aims to give the Group's high-potentials the tools needed to become the managers of tomorrow.

Delivery of the CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery

On 26 January 2018, CMA CGM took delivery of its new flagship, the CMA CGM Antoine de Saint Exupery. With a capacity of 20,600 TEUs, she is the largest vessel in the world flying the French flag.


Reinforcement of the Group’s presence in the logistics sector

On 3 May 2018, CMA CGM acquired a stake of nearly 25% in CEVA Logistics, a global player in the logistics sector. With this transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, CMA CGM expands its presence in the logistics sector, a business closely related to shipping. The two companies have agreed to explore the development of joint commercial offerings, according to terms to be defined in the coming months, with a focus on end-to-end solutions.


The market should see strong volume growth in 2018. The delivery of new vessels will significantly decrease in the second half of the year. In this context, CMA CGM expects an improvement in the market environment in the second half of 2018, excluding bunker costs and the impact of exchange rates.

The measures announced by the CMA CGM Group regarding the increase in freight rates, the implementation of Emergency Bunker Recovery Measures and cost reduction initiatives should bear fruit in the second half of 2018.