PARIS, Sept 7 (Reuters) - CMA CGM, one of the world’s largest container shipping lines, said on Friday it expects its operating margin to improve in the second half of the year after higher oil prices squeezed profits in the first half.
“We are confident for the second half of the year. We anticipate an improved operating margin thanks to the rise in freight rates and sustained volumes,” Chairman and Chief Executive Rodolphe Saade said in a quarterly results statement.
CMA CGM, based in the southern French port city of Marseille, said its operating margin was 1.2 percent in the second quarter, down from 8.9 percent a year ago, and compared with 1.6 percent in the first quarter of this year.
It posted a net profit of $22.7 million, down from $213 million a year earlier but reversing a first-quarter loss of $77 million.
CMA CGM announced in May a fuel surcharge for clients to help absorb the impact of rising oil prices.
Saade said on Thursday that brisk volumes between China and the United States were contributing to positive third-quarter activity, although an escalation in the countries’ trade dispute would affect volumes. (Reporting by Gus Trompiz Editing by Bate Felix)