For the second quarter of 2014, ZIM reported a loss before interest and tax (EBIT) of about $9 million, reflecting sharp improvement compared to the corresponding quarter of 2013, for which it reported an EBIT loss of about $29 million. Operating cash flow totaled close to $19 million in Q2 2014, an improvement compared to about $14 million in Q2 2013. ZIM carried 619,000 TEUs during the second quarter, a decrease of 2 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2013, mostly was due to the termination services between Northern Europe and the United States (in mid-2013), and between Asia to Northern Europe (as of Q2 of 2014). Revenue in Q2 2014 amounted close to $875 million, compared to about $977 million in the corresponding quarter of 2013. The reduction in revenues was a result of: (i) terminating services, (ii) the sale of a container manufacturing plant in China during the third quarter of 2013 and (iii) the sustained pressure on freight prices. Freight rates per TEU averaged $1,206, a drop of $40 per container (3 per cent) compared with Q2 2013.

On July 16, ZIM successfully concluded its debt restructuring, under the terms of which Israel Corporation invested $200 million of new equity into the company while reducing its holdings in ZIM were reduced from 100 per cent to 32 per cent, while ZIM’s banks, ship-owners and bondholders agreed to convert approximately $1.4 billion of ZIM’s total $3.4 billion debt and liabilities into a 68 per cent ownership stake in ZIM, and provide a $50 million receivables financing facility. ZIM’s remaining debt will mainly consist of secured debt secured with an amortization profile that is linked to ZIM’s business plan and unsecured notes listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange with a maturity of nine years. In addition, ZIM has restructured its charter payments to ship-owners as a result of which they will be reduced by 46 per cent overall.

The dramatic reduction in debt, together with the new capital that has been raised, positions ZIM to compete successfully in the shipping industry. Finalizing the complicated restructuring paves the way for renewed momentum, the company is now prepared to ride the wave of global economic recovery. The “New ZIM” is concentrating its efforts on executing its business plan, which in substance focuses on profitable lines where the company offers added value to its customers, while improving and upgrading its points of interface with customers and continuing to improve its operating efficiency.

On September 3, ZIM’s Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Mr. Aharon Fogel (67) as the new Chairman of the company. Fogel was elected in view of his many years of experience in economics and finance. His vast experience will contribute to leading ZIM on its new path after the restructuring. Fogel joins Zim following a diverse career in both the public and private sectors. Over the years he has held a number of senior positions, including  Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Finance, Chairman of NESS Technologies, Chairman of Migdal Insurance and Chairman of the Advisory Committee to the Bank of Israel. Fogel holds a BA in Economics and Statistics and an MA in Economics from Hebrew University.