Market: CMA CGM weighed down in 2023 by disruptions in the Red Sea and low demand

(Reuters) – Shipping group CMA CGM reported on Friday an 85.4% fall in net profit in 2023, a difficult year marked by disruptions to trade in the Red Sea and weak demand from consumers.

Last year, net profit fell to $3.64 billion from $24.88 billion in 2022, a year of record profits.

Since last October, CMA CGM and other shipping groups have been facing disruptions in the Red Sea linked to attacks on commercial ships carried out by Yemeni Houthi rebels, which have slowed trade between Asia and Europe.

The shipping sector has also been affected by inflation, which has dampened demand for consumer goods, and by a rebalancing of consumption in favor of services.

“The year 2024 should be marked by sluggish global economic growth, even if global trade in goods should experience a rebound after a year of lows in 2023, driven by consumption and the reconstitution of stocks,” indicates CMA -CGM in a press release.

The dynamics of freight volumes should remain strong during the first half of 2024, while the second half promises to be more uncertain, adds the group.

(Michal Aleksandrowicz and Gaëlle Sheehan; French version Dagmarah Mackos, edited by Blandine Hénault)

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