Carnival Corp.'s Q1 Net Income Slips, But CEO Sees Strong Summer Season

Carnival Corporation's first-quarter net income dipped to $152 million, down from $175 million at the same time last year. Revenues in the first-quarter did rise to $3.4 billion. Carnival Corporation Chairman and CEO Micky Arison commented that net revenue yield increases were driven by "a significant improvement in ticket prices for our European brands." The company said its focus was on  managing costs and reducing fuel consumption (fuel prices increased 9 percent to $543 per metric ton for Q1 2011 from $497 per metric ton in Q1 2010).

"Despite the uncertain world events that have unfolded during our peak booking period, we have experienced a solid wave season," said Arison. "Ticket prices for the peak summer season remain particularly strong. The convenience and affordability of a cruise vacation continues to gain recognition as consumers discover the unrivaled experience cruising offers. As a result, long-term fundamentals for our business remain attractive in an environment where consumers increasingly value the importance of taking their holidays."

The future looks brighter: Since the start of the calendar year, booking volumes and prices for the remaining three quarters are running higher than the prior year, Carnival reports, adding that "cumulative advance bookings for the remainder of the year are at higher prices with slightly lower occupancies versus last year."

Fuel prices still wil be a thorn in the company's side. "Based on current spot prices for fuel, fuel costs are now expected to increase $355 million for the full year 2011," Carnival noted.

New ships on the way: During the second quarter, two new ships will debut in Europe, AIDA Cruises’ 2,194-passenger AIDAsol and Carnival Cruise Lines’ 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic, furthering the company’s strategy to expand its global presence.

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