Liner giant CMA CGM is handing staff and seafarers some Christmas cheer with an "exceptional" end-of-year bonus.

The French liner company will distribute the equivalent of eight weeks' wages to seafarers and workers, according to a report by Le Marin-Ouest-France.

Chief executive and chairman Rodolphe Saade announced the award in a letter to employees on 15 December.

The payout applies to employees of the shipping division CMA CGM and includes seafarers.

It comes after the Marseilles-based company celebrated a fantastically profitable year.

CMA CGM made net profits in the third quarter alone of $5.6bn, from $567m in the same period last year.

Total revenue was $15.3bn, up 89.4% for the first nine months of the year.

The company is expecting an even stronger financial performance during the fourth quarter.

The bonus is in addition to a wage agreement negotiated earlier in the summer, Le Marin reports.

That agreement relates to an increase in real base salaries of 2% to be effective on 1 January 2022.

Around €4m ($4.5m) will be distributed to CMA CGM employees, according to criteria still to be defined, according to Le Marin.

In the footsteps of Maersk

CMA CGM is the second liner giant this month to unveil a bonus to its staff.

Danish giant AP Moller-Maersk earlier unveiled it would award another bonus to workers this year, but the payout is unchanged from 2020 despite huge rises in earnings.

An internal Maersk memo said about 80,000 workers will pocket an extra $1,000 in December or January pay packets.

Analysts are predicting that the Danish carrier will make a net profit of 2021 of more than $17bn.

Last year, Maersk also paid a $1,000 bonus to most employees when the company reported a profit of $2.9bn after losing money in three of the previous four years.

The 2020 award recognised the "exceptional" contribution of employees who showed "hard work and dedication" during a year hit by Covid-19, which initially decimated volumes and then saw them spring back in spectacular fashion.

Maersk's regular bonus system is also not solely based on financial performance but includes for example rewards for progress on the transformation of the company.