CMA CGM losses hit $515 million in first half
French shipping line CMA CGM reportedly lost $515 million in the first half of 2009, according to a Reuters report that quoted an interview with CMA CGM executive Rodolphe Saade in the French publication Les Echos.
The report also said Saade, son of CMA CGM founder Jacques Saade, confirmed that the liner carrier's debts are $5.6 billion, a figure quoted in recent days by unnamed sources within the company in various trade reports.
CMA CGM is in the process of sorting out its short-term and long-term debts as it grapples with a historic downturn in rates. The carrier, the third largest in the world by fleet capacity, also has a sizable order book of new vessels, deliveries which it is actively trying to defer.
According to the report, Saade said CMA CGM has 49 vessels due to be delivered by 2012. The carrier has 59 vessels on order in all, according to maritime news service Alphaliner, which also published a note on the CMA CGM losses in its weekly newsletter.
The $515 million in losses would place CMA CGM among the top five hardest hit by the downturn, in terms of operating losses in the first half of 2009 (the others are NYK Line, Hapag-Lloyd, Cosco Container Lines and Maersk Line).
Saade said in an interview this week with Lloyd's List that CMA CGM has cut $715 million in costs this year, including $415 million from ship charter renegotiations. It's also saved by returning a net of 20 vessels to charter owners, but has taken on 150 new charters at reduced rates 'to keep its slot costs competitive,' the report said.