News / With Geodis not for sale, CEO mulls options ‘to enhance development’ – theloadstar.com

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Geodis CEO Marie-Christine Lombard has quashed any speculation that the logistics company could be put up for sale by its owner, French state railway SNCF. 

Ms Lombard also told The Loadstar any option that would “enhance Geodis’s development” would be given due consideration, having previously evoked the possibility of the company opening up its capital to finance a “transformative” acquisition. 

She said: “SNCF group chairman Jean-Pierre Farandou said at a public hearing at the National Assembly, on 6 March that Geodis was a major strategic asset for the SNCF group and for France. The sale of Geodis is not being considered.” 

After “two exceptional years” for the market, Geodis’s turnover was down 15% last year (down 21.6% on a like-for-like basis) to €11.6bn ($12.46bn), as a result of the normalisation of freight rates for air and sea, and lower volumes due to the global economic slowdown. Nevertheless, it managed to maintain its margins, “thanks to a diversified business model and cost productivity initiatives”. Ebitda was down very slightly, at just over €1.1bn. 

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Mr Farandou said of Geodis’s performance last year: “Despite freight rates normalising after two exceptional years, the development of our freight forwarding and contract logistics is driving the group’s momentum.” 

On suggestions that Geodis risks being marginalised following the merger between CMA CGM-owned Ceva Logistics and Bolloré Logistics – the latter pairing being twice the size of the SNCF subsidiary – Ms Lombard said: “We don’t usually comment on our competitors’ operations. Structural operations such as this merger are recurrent in the logistics market and constitute externalities that our company knows how to deal with in the short and long term.

“Geodis is a company built on a resilient and balanced business model, with strong assets that enable it to adapt to changes in the logistics landscape. What’s more, Geodis is owned by the SNCF group and has the backing of the French state.” 

In an interview with French media in September 2022, Ms Lombard had not excluded the possibility of opening Geodis’s capital to finance a ‘transformative’ acquisition, and asked whether this option remained on the table, she said: “As a matter of principle, we do not rule out any transaction that could benefit the development of our group.” 

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