Royal Caribbean's Q1 Earnings Spike on Increased Capacity

Royal Caribbean reported a first quarter net income of $75.6 million, compared to only $8.8 million at the same time last year. The cruise line said the spike versus first quarter 2007 was due primarily to increased capacity and higher yields, offset by higher fuel prices. Higher fuel prices did increase first quarter 2008 costs by $60 million, Royal Caribbean said.

"It is gratifying that, despite the challenging economic times, our guests continue to appreciate the outstanding value offered by our brands,” said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruise Ltd.  “We delivered the highest first quarter yields in our company’s history, with significant improvement in ticket prices and continued healthy onboard spending.”  

Royal Caribbean said it expects a 5.1 percent increase in capacity in 2008, driven primarily by a full year sailing of Liberty of the Seas, Independence of the Seas, which debuts next month, and  Pullmantur's purchase of Pacific Star and Celebrity Solstice, which will enter service in December.

Fain also said that forward bookings remain strong, which "demonstrates our resilience." Visit www.royalcaribbean.com

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