Two French energy and transport giants have announced discounts to boost purchasing power

Exemption to avoid tax: TotalEnergies and shipping giant CMA CGM announced new measures to boost purchasing power on Friday, as the government asked the companies to take part in efforts against inflation.

TotalEnergies will apply a pump discount of 20 cents per liter between September and November at all its service stations, then 10 cents per liter for the rest of the year, the French gas and oil giant announced in a press release on Friday.

This rebate is in addition to the 18 cent subsidy provided by the government to counter the fuel oil hike. Government aid should rise to 12 cents in October and then to 6 cents in November, before disappearing the following month.

CMA CGM will reduce its freight rates to mainland France and overseas territories by 750 euros per 40-foot container, i.e. up to 25% of its price, instead of the 500 euros initially planned. The measure has been extended to all its customers in mainland France since August 1 and for a year, while it was reserved for large retailers, the group said in a press release.

A container ship of the CMA CGM company in Le Havre, Seine-Maritime on May 24, 2022 (AFP/Archives – Jean-Francois MONIER)

TotalEnergies and CMA CGM are in the crosshairs of parliamentarians, on the left but in the majority, who want to create a tax for companies that have made significant profits due to inflation.

TotalEnergies earlier in February announced a net profit of $16 billion in 2021, the highest in at least 15 years, linked to a sharp rise in oil prices.

CMA CGM disclosed in early June a net profit of $7.2 billion in the first quarter alone. Coming out of the red in 2020, the world’s third-largest shipowner is driven by overheated maritime transport and mismanagement of global supply chains.

– Consultation with Ministry –

CMA CGM’s CEO, Rodolphe Sade, defended himself during a Senate hearing on Wednesday, insisting that he was “ready to help”, but that he did not want to be “the only one to pay” in the face of the international. competition

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire responded on Friday morning, welcoming TotalEnergy’s decision; It is “a fair decision, a firm decision and a good decision for consumers”, he declared on RMC/BFMTV.

“What Motal makes is very significant compared to the profits” made by the group in France this year, he added, while TotalEnergies has been accused by opposition elected representatives and most of it of “excessive profits” with gas and oil booms. . the price

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire at the National Assembly, July 19, 2022 (AFP/Archives - Christophe Archambault)
Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire at the National Assembly, July 19, 2022 (AFP/Archives – Christophe Archambault)

TotalEnergies already offered a discount of 10 cents per liter at its service stations in rural areas in February, representing a contribution of around 50 million euros, or 30% of its margin, to its gas, electricity and fuel operations in France. It then expanded the offer to all its stations in April.

Bruno Le Maire called in June to continue or increase the discount, which raised the tanker to 12 cents, but limited it to its service stations on the motorway.

“Our priority goes to consumers because we prefer to make an immediate and direct contribution to our customers, rather than an indirect tax that would penalize our refineries”, commented TotalEnergy CEO Patrick Poane in a press release on Friday.

These arrangements were “defined in consultation with the Ministry of Economy”, and “were the subject of discussions with group customers including CPME (Confederation of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises) and with some federations”, the CMA said on Friday. CGM. “It is essential that these reductions are passed on to the prices of the products intended for the end consumers and that the ministry departments can ensure this,” the agency stressed.

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