ZIM reports financial results for the first quarter of 2024; raising full year 2024 guidance

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ZIM Integrated Shipping Services, a global container liner shipping company, announcedits consolidated results for the three months ended March 31, 2024.

First Quarter 2024 Highlights

  • Net income for the first quarter was $92 million (compared to a net loss of $58 million in the first quarter of 2023), or a diluted earnings per share of $0.753 (compared to diluted loss per share of $0.50 in the first quarter of 2023).
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 for the first quarter was $427 million, a year-over-year increase of 14%.
  • Operating income (EBIT) for the first quarter was $167 million, compared to operating loss of $14 million in the first quarter of 2023. Reconciliation items between operating income and Adjusted EBIT in the first quarter of each year were negligible.
  • Revenues for the first quarter were $1.56 billion, a year-over-year increase of 14%.
  • Carried volume in the first quarter was 846 thousand TEUs, a year-over-year increase of 10%.
  • Average freight rate per TEU in the first quarter was $1,452, a year-over-year increase of 4%.
  • Net debt1 of $3.11 billion as of March 31, 2024, compared to $2.31 billion as of December 31, 2023; net leverage ratio1 of 2.8x at March 31, 2024, compared to 2.2x as of December 31, 2023.

Eli Glickman, ZIM President & CEO, stated, “We are pleased with the current positive momentum in our business. ZIM’s solid first quarter results illustrate the incremental benefits from our strategic transformation and the outstanding execution of the ZIM team worldwide, as well as a significant improvement in global freight rates. Having taken important steps to revamp our fleet and enhance our cost structure, which exceeded our expectations, we delivered profitable growth in Q1 2024, as ZIM generated net income of $92 million. Per our dividend policy, we declared a dividend of $0.23 per share, or $28 million, representing 30% of quarterly net income.”

Mr. Glickman added, “Given the recent improved freight rate environment currently impacting more trades, we have increased our full year 2024 guidance and today forecast full year Adjusted EBITDA between $1.15 billion and $1.55 billion and Adjusted EBIT between zero and $400 million. Looking ahead, we now expect freight rates to remain stronger for longer than initially anticipated due to a combination of continued pressure on supply and availability of equipment and a recent uptick in demand. While the rate environment during the latter part of 2024 remains unknown, we are confident in ZIM’s strategic positioning as an agile container shipping player with a competitive cost- and fuel-efficient, modern fleet.”

Mr. Glickman concluded, “We look forward to further implementing our differentiated strategy to create a best-in-class experience for customers and generate sustainable value for shareholders. By year’s end, we expect the delivery of the final 16 out of 46 newbuild containerships that we secured, which include 28 LNG-powered vessels. With a fleet optimally suited to the trades in which we operate, together with declining unit costs, we are well positioned to achieve our volume growth targets and deliver on our commitment to profitability over the long term.”

Summary of Key Financial and Operational Results
Q1.24   Q1.23   
Carried volume (K-TEUs)…………………………………………….846769
Average freight rate ($/TEU)……………………………………….. 1,4521,390
Total Revenues ($ in millions)………………………………………1,5621,374
Operating income (loss) (EBIT) ($ in millions)………………..167(14)
Profit (loss) before income tax ($ in millions)………………….96(65)
Net income (loss) ($ in millions)……………………………………92(58)
Adjusted EBITDA1 ($ in millions)………………………………….427373
Adjusted EBIT1 ($ in millions)………………………………………167(14)
Net income (loss) margin (%)………………………………………6 %(4) %
Adjusted EBITDA margin (%)………………………………………27 %27 %
Adjusted EBIT margin (%)…………………………………………..11 %(1) %
Diluted earnings (loss) per share ($)…………………………….0.75(0.50)
Net cash generated from operating activities ($ in millions)326174
Free cash flow1 ($ in millions)…………………………………….. 303142
MAR 31, 2024DEC 31, 2023
Net debt1 ($ in millions)………………………………………………3,1102,309

Financial and Operating Results for the First Quarter Ended March 31, 2024

Total revenues were $1,562 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $1,374 million for the first quarter of 2023, mainly driven by the increase in freight rates and carried volume.

ZIM carried 846 thousand TEUs in the first quarter of 2024, compared to 769 thousand TEUs in the first quarter of 2023. The average freight rate per TEU was $1,452 for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $1,390 for the first quarter of 2023.

Operating income (EBIT) for the first quarter of 2024 was $167 million, compared to operating loss of $14 million for the first quarter of 2023. The increase was driven primarily by the above-mentioned increase in revenues.

Net income for the first quarter of 2024 was $92 million, compared to net loss of $58 million for the first quarter of 2023, also mainly driven by the above-mentioned increase in revenues.

Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2024 was $427 million, compared to $373 million for the first quarter of 2023. Adjusted EBIT was $167 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to adjusted EBIT loss of $14 million for the first quarter of 2023. Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT margins for the first quarter of 2024 were 27% and 11%, respectively. This compares to 27% and -1% for the first quarter of 2023, respectively.

Net cash generated from operating activities was $326 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $174 million for the first quarter of 2023.

Liquidity, Cash Flows and Capital Allocation

ZIM’s total cash position (which includes cash and cash equivalents and investments in bank deposits and other investment instruments) decreased by $442 million from $2.69 billion as of December 31, 2023 to $2.25 billion as of March 31, 2024. Capital expenditures totaled $24 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to $36 million for the first quarter of 2023. Net debt position as of March 31, 2024 was $3.11 billion compared to net debt position as of December 31, 2023 of $2.31 billion, an increase of $801 million. ZIM’s net leverage ratio as of March 31, 2024, was 2.8x, compared to 2.2x as of December 31, 2023.

First Quarter 2024 Dividend and Dividend Policy

In accordance with the Company’s dividend policy, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of approximately $28 million, or $0.23 per ordinary share, reflecting approximately 30% of first quarter 2024 net income. The dividend will be paid on June 11, 2024 to holders of ZIM ordinary shares as of June 4, 2024.

All future dividends are subject to the discretion of Company’s Board of Directors and to the restrictions provided by Israeli law.

Use of Non-IFRS Measures in the Company’s 2024 Guidance

A reconciliation of the Company’s non-IFRS financial measures included in its full-year 2024 guidance to corresponding IFRS measures is not available on a forward-looking basis. In particular, the Company has not reconciled its Adjusted EBITDA and Adjusted EBIT because the various reconciling items between such non-IFRS financial measures and the corresponding IFRS measures cannot be determined without unreasonable effort due to the uncertainty regarding, and the potential variability of, the future costs and expenses for which the Company adjusts, the effect of which may be significant, and all of which are difficult to predict and are subject to frequent change.

Updated Full-Year 2024 Guidance

The Company increased its guidance for the full year of 2024 and now expects to generate Adjusted EBITDA between $1.15 billion and $1.55 billion and Adjusted EBIT between zero and $400 million. Previously, the Company expected to generate Adjusted EBITDA between $850 million and $1,450 million and Adjusted EBIT between a loss of $300 million and earnings of $300 million.