Zim struggles through 2014 but sees improvements in Q4

Zim has announced its financial results for the full year 2014. It reported revenue of $3.41bn, a fall of 7.42% from 2013’s result. The company also reported an operating loss of $263.38m, which represented a further decline from 2013’s operating loss of $190.61m. Accordingly the company’s margins stood at a loss of 7.73%.

However the company reported some improvements in the final quarter of 2014. Zim recorded Q4 EBITDA of $51m, a 24.39% improvement year-on-year, though this did not include $21m expense related to the revaluation of derivatives. The company also recorded a Q4 net loss of $127m, an improvement of $216m compared to the fourth quarter of 2013.

Rafi Danieli, ZIM President and CEO said, “The company recorded a sharp improvement in Q4, and continues to record a steady and ongoing improvement of its operating results. Through the implementation of our business plan, enhancing efficiency and improving our service and sales, we aim to continue in order to return to profitability and growth in 2015.”

The improvement at the end of 2014 was partly the result of the $3.4bn debt restructuring, which included a debt to equity swap of $1.4bn and brought the company back to positive equity.

Declining revenue was partly the result of falling volumes. Zim carried 2.36m TEUs in 2014, a 6% decrease compared with 2013. Most of the decrease was as a result of terminating the service from Asia to Northern Europe as part of the company’s business plan. However freight rates did improve by an average of 2% to offset this decline.

In spite of the reduction in revenues, ZIM improved its operating result due to its efficiency drive, improved sales and customer service, reduced fuel costs in the latter part of 2014, the termination of non-profitable lines, and freight rate increases in some other lines.