According to Arthur Sabatier
CMA-CGM, the third largest ship owner in the world, represents more than 500 ships in 160 different countries.
The company is therefore one of the main economic players in the country, its profitability is proven over the long term.
14.8 billion profit for the first six months of the year
The owner of the ship, owned by the fifth French fortune, the Saadé family, recently announced that it earned $14.8 billion in the first six months of 2022. He earned 17.9 billion for the entire year 2021, which was already a record. So this year, without a doubt, it will once again break the record in profitability.
Like the entire shipping industry, CMA-CGM has benefited from the rise in freight rates as a result of the crisis. However, the Marseillais company managed to increase its profit, at the same time its costs increased and the volume of transported goods decreased.
How to pull off this magic trick? To simplify, in the first half of 2021 the company made a profit of one third of its turnover. In 2022, its profit equals half of its turnover. CMA-CGM therefore increased its margin disproportionately.
Any tax implications?
But then with such profits, how much does CMA-CGM pay in taxes? In France, companies pay an income tax of 25%. However, there is a special regime for the maritime freight sector.
Instead of a tax on profits, ship owners are taxed at a flat rate on the tonnage of their ships. This special regime, in the logic of competitiveness, results in a much lower tax than the common law.
For example, for a ship with a net weight of 50,000 tons, the annual tax amount would be approximately 24,700 euros. In short, this scheme does not take into account the increase in the company’s profit, but only the volume of goods. However, although CMA-CGM increased its profits extraordinarily in the last semester, the volume of goods fell.
“90% of the group’s profits are reinvested”
“90% of the group’s profits are reinvested”, especially “to respond to environmental issues”, the shipping company defends.
On the question of taxing super profits, at a time when a lot of effort is required from the French, CMA-CGM defends itself by ensuring that these short-term profits are intelligently reinvested.
At the request of the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, the company grants preferential rates to French companies. It has also pledged to invest heavily in reducing their environmental impact, particularly by electrifying ships in docks.
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