CMA CGM, the world's third-largest container liner company, said it had profit of $237 million in the first half of 2011, 72 percent less than the $849 million earned in the first half of 2010.
The company had earnings before interest and tax of $592 million in the first half of the year, 33 percent less than the $887 million earned in the first half of 2010.
Revenue for the French shipping company amounted to $7.31 billion, 8 percent more than the $6.77 billion in the first half of 2010.
The company said it carried 4.8 million TEUs in the first half, 9.1 percent more than in the first half of 2010, and said it had "outperformed the market, notably thanks to the group's modern, competitive and particularly efficient fleet.
"These figures reflected the firm demand observed over the period in most of the markets where CMA CGM holds strong positions, with improved freight rates on the South American and Caribbean lines (up 5 percent), the transatlantic lines (up 6 percent) and the transpacific lines (up 11 percent), amply offsetting the Asia/Europe and Mediterranean trades," said CMA CGM.
The company said it strengthened its balance sheet in the first half by selling an equity stake, issuing $500 million in convertible bonds to the Yildirim Group and raising an aggregate $945 million through two bond issues denominated in dollars and euros.
Looking forward, CMA CGM said it would "continue to develop its strategic positions in emerging markets, with a focus on Russia and India" and pursue expansion in Latin America, where it expects to benefit from the 2014 opening of the Panama Canal's third set of locks.
CMA CGM said it "believes that 2011 should be a positive year, barring any unforeseen events in today's highly unstable global economy."
CMA CGM is not publicly traded, and did not release details of its operating profit, the measure American Shipper
regularly uses to compare the profitability of liner carriers.