CMA CGM has seen full-year net profit slip by just 3% despite the tough operating environment in the sector.
The world’s third-largest container shipping firm said net income for 2015 was $567m versus the $584m seen a year earlier.
Revenue was $15.7bn, down 6.4% from 2014, as a 6.3% increase in transported volumes was outweighed by the steep fall in freight rates.
Commenting on the results, Rodolphe Saade, CMA CGM Group vice-chairman said: “Our operating performance once again illustrates the strength of our business model and our capacity to adapt.
“In a challenging market environment, we continued to roll out our strategy while adjusting our cost and financing structure to best effect.
“The beginning of 2016 was tough and marked by freight rates under pressure. We are therefore strengthening our continuous efforts to adapt and optimize our maritime services as well as our cost reduction program.”
Volumes carried in 2015 rose by 6.3% year-on-year to 13mteu supported by the launch of a vessel-sharing alliance with China Shipping and UASC, as well as expansion on US routes that allowed it to benefit from an accelerating economy in the US.
CMA CGM said it expects its volume growth to outperform the market again in 2016 after strong expansion last year helped it cushion a slide in freight rates.
CMA CGM is in the process of acquiring Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) for $2.4bn in its largest-ever takeover deal.
Its acquisition of NOL, which will bring it closer to larger rivals Maersk Line and MSC, will make it the market leader on trans-Pacific routes.
Saade said the project to acquire NOL is progressing in line with expectations.
“Combined with our intrinsic capacity to deliver solid operating results, this project will make us more competitive going forward,” he said.