PARIS (Reuters) – CMA CGM said it expects a pullback in shipping markets to accelerate in the fourth quarter due to high energy prices and flagging consumer spending, and this will reduce its profitability following an earnings surge in the past year.

French-based CMA CGM, one of the world’s largest container lines, reported on Friday a net profit of $7.0 billion for the third quarter, up from $5.6 billion in the year-earlier period.

However, the net profit was down from $7.6 billion in the previous quarter, while core earnings also fell slightly from the second quarter, with CMA CGM noting an easing in spot freight rates as shipping demand softened.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz, editing by Tassilo Hummel)