Carnival's Q2 Numbers Up On European Performance

Carnival Corp.'s net income in the second quarter rose $10 million this year over last, due in part to a strong European performance. Success in Europe was tempered by a weak Caribbean, which was still feeling the effects of pricing pressure, said Carnival Corp. chairman and CEO, Micky Arison. That said, Howard Frank, vice chairman and COO of Carnival Corp., said that pricing in the Caribbean was improving, citing strong booking volumes the second quarter. "Group bookings are up," Frank also said, adding that travel agents were beginning to show greater confidence. Increasing fuel prices could hurt future revenues, but Arison remained optimistic. "Our North American brands are enjoying strong European and Alaskan programs and our European brands are performing well against strong comparisons last year," he said, also noting that pricing for Caribbean sailings in the second half of 2007 appears to have stabilized. Carnival will absorb an 8 percent growth in capacity for 2008 and average a 6.7 percent increase through 2010. After that, Arison said growth might subside. "No question," he said, "with the combination of building prices and slot restraints, the likelihood is that growth will moderate." Carnival did say that it would transfer one of its ships to TUI, the German tour provider it acquired, in 2009, but declined to say which ship.