The Marseille-based shipping liner CMA CGM Group, a global player in shipping and logistics, posted a financial loss as the shipping industry struggles with the conflict in the Red Sea and the specter of overcapacity.

Net income at the Rodolphe Saade-led company in 2023 slumped to $3.6bn, it said on Friday.

The full-year 2023 revenue stood at $47bn, a 36.9% year-on-year decline that was attributable to the deteriorating conditions in maritime shipping markets.

Ebitda came to $9bn, representing an Ebitda margin of 19.2% that was down 25.5 points on the year before. 

A statement released February 23 painted a subdued outlook “shaped by sluggish global economic growth.”

“Our results are down as we expected,” CMA CGM Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and chief executive commented on Friday.

CMA CGM follows rivals A.P. Moller-Maersk, one of the biggest container lines, and Hapag-Lloyd, in outlining difficult prospects in the near term for the notoriously cyclical industry, partly based on sluggish economic growth.

“2024 is likely to be shaped by sluggish global economic growth, although global trade for goods is expected to rebound from 2023 lows, driven by consumer spending and replenishing inventories,” CMA CGM said in the statement.

“Volume growth should remain strong in the first half, supported by these base-line effects, but the second half looks more uncertain.”

CMA CGM went on a buying spree to diversify into logistics, air cargo and media. In January, it scrapped an alliance with Air France-KLM that would have boosted its capacity in the sector.

CMA CGM and Air France-KLM announced in May 2022 their intention to enter into a cargo commercial cooperation, which became effective in April 2023.

However, the two companies said that due to the “tight regulatory environment” they made the decision to withdraw from their existing agreements from March 31, 2024.

In the air cargo the group now operates a fleet of five aircraft, which will be strengthened in 2024 with the delivery of two Boeing 777F freighters.

In the logistics sector the company pursued deals with the latest the agreement to acquire Bolloré Logistics.

“Logistics is proving more resilient, and accounts for a significant part of our business,” noted Rodolphe Saadé in his statement.