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ZIM crushes all-time earnings records

Banner Q3 reported for net profit and cash flow

ZIM expects its “fourth-quarter results to keep up with this excellent trend” of earnings records. (Photo: Flickr/Kees Torn)

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services used an exclamation point in its third-quarter earnings statement Wednesday to make the point its net profit of $144.4 million was “an all-time record!”

It was a result worthy of an exclamation point as net profit skyrocketed 2,818% from the $5 million posted in Q3 2019.

Another all-time record was set with adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), which came in at $262.1 million in the third quarter, a 145.4% leap from the $106.8 million reported in the same period last year. 

ZIM also used the “all-time record” phrase for earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT), which totaled $189.4 million in Q3, a 364.2% trajectory from $40.8 million in the third quarter of 2019.

“This remarkable and exceptional achievement stems from our long-term strategy and vision and reaffirms it. I expect Q4 results to be at least as high as Q3 results,” ZIM President and CEO Eli Glickman said in Wednesday’s release.

While not an all-time record, revenue of $1.01 billion was the highest in eight years and up more than 20% from the $842 million filed in Q3 last year. 

Operating cash flow did set yet another all-time record, ZIM said, hitting $245.1 million in Q3 compared to $157.5 million in 2019, an increase of 55.6%.

In August, ZIM was modest in its Q2 earnings statement, calling a 394% net profit rocket “significant improvement.” Net profit for Q2 was $25.3 million, compared to $5.1 million in the same period last year. 

Glickman also cited “significant improvement” in May, when he reported the Israeli shipping line had whittled its first-quarter net loss year-over-year from $24.3 million to $11.9 million. 

Glickman noted in Wednesday’s statement that the Q3 records were set during the volatile times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While market conditions were favorable in some trades, we are still facing the challenges of the pandemic and market volatility remains high,” he said. “Nevertheless, our agile response to market developments enabled us to perform better than ever in the current ‘new reality’ and deliver these excellent results.”

Glickman said ZIM has launched specialized services to meet e-commerce demand and announced initiatives “aimed at harnessing our technological and innovative expertise to shipping-related fields.”

These efforts will enable ZIM to “continue to pursue our goal of sustained profitability and growth, while maintaining our high level of customer service. As previously indicated, we expect our fourth-quarter results to keep up with this excellent trend,” Glickman said. 

ZIM carried 762,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in Q3, a 5.1% increase from the same quarter last year.

The average freight rate per TEU was $1,176 compared to $1,009 in Q3 2019, a 16.6% increase, ZIM said. 

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Click for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.

Kim Link Wills

Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills has written about everything from agriculture as a reporter for Illinois Agri-News to zoology as editor of the Georgia Tech Alumni Magazine. Her work has garnered awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Magazine Association of the Southeast. Prior to serving as managing editor of American Shipper, Kim spent more than four years with XPO Logistics.