Carnival Q1 Numbers Up On Strong Europe and Increased Capacity

Carnival Corporation on Friday reported healthy first quarter gains fueled by strong yields from its European business and a 7.4 percent increase in cruise capacity. Carnival's overall first-quarter profit jumped 13 percent with net income clocking in at $283 million, $32 million more than the company reported at the same time last year. Success with its Europe itineraries is mitigating the sting felt by soft pricing in the Caribbean, the company said. "Pricing for Caribbean and Mexico, which represents 66 percent of capacity, is down," said Howard Frank, vice chairman and COO. "Pricing is running ahead in Europe." However, flattish Caribbean pricing could soon change as more Americans begin to find out about the value relationship a Caribbean cruise offers. "The value relationship for Caribbean cruising is very powerful," said Frank. "The market is starting to understand that, but it takes time, especially for first timers to get that message. As we deliver, demand will increase." This upcoming Monday, the company said its Carnival Cruise Lines brand, which will represent virtually all of Carnival's Q3 capacity in the Caribbean, will release an update on Caribbean pricing and performance. "Our yield management folks react to demand," Frank said. "It's still too early to tell if prices will come up."