Carnival Corp. Q2 Earnings: Not As Bad As Expected

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Carnival Corp.'s second-quarter earnings fell 33 percent from the same period last year, but losses were less than expected, thanks to lower than expected net cruise costs and better than expected pricing on close-in bookings. 

For the quarter ended May 31, Carnival reported a profit of $264 million, down from $390 million a year earlier.

The overall poor health of the economy has hurt the cruise industry as a whole as consumers have remained frugal and, if they do decide to travel, are holding out for the best deals. Booking windows have also shrunk as consumers look for shorter cruises that are usually less expensive.

Carnival Corp. Chairman and CEO Micky Arison said Thursday that Carnival will remain focused on cost-cutting throughout the year. One glimmer of light: Energy-conservation efforts reduced fuel consumption by 6 percent.

The company also said that since March, booking volumes for the second half of the year are up 26 percent as ticket prices are "substantially lower." However, Arison said, "As we have progressed throughout the year, booking volumes have continued to accelerate with less discounting."

Profit was also reduced by changing itineraries due to H1N1 virus.

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