Carnival Corporation delivered an improved set of second quarter year on year financial figures and revealed that bookings for the remainder of 2014 are ahead of last year.
The world’s largest cruise conglomerate admitted yields in the current quarter – covering the main summer months – would be affected by a “significant” industry capacity increases in the Caribbean but raised its forecast for full year trading amid falling costs and an improved economic picture.
The group saw profits almost treble in the three months to May 31 to $106 million from $4 million in the second quarter of 2013, based on revenue up to $3.6 billion from $3.5 billion.
Carnival Corporation president and chief executive Arnold Donald said the company had been helped by better than expected revenue and lower cruise costs.
“We benefited from effective marketing initiatives, which combined with a gradually improving economic environment, led to revenue yield improvement for our continental European brands in the quarter compared to the prior year and is expected to continue through the remainder of the year,” he said.
“In addition, we achieved a six percent improvement in fuel consumption.”
Donald said Carnival expects revenue for 2014 to surpass last year’s level.
Advance bookings for the rest of 2014 are slightly ahead of last year and at higher prices, even though bookings for the next three quarters are slightly behind last year.
Donald said: “Collectively our brands are gaining momentum in our efforts to drive higher ticket prices and we continue to expect sequential improvement in revenue yields, despite a more competitive environment in the Caribbean this summer.
“We remain focused on further understanding our guests and refining the exceptional customer experience we provide.
“We have also made significant strides in our efforts to identify opportunities for cross-brand operational efficiencies. This work is still in the early stages, but we are making progress and beginning to see encouraging signs.”
The company hopes to have recovered from multiple cruise ship incidents last year involving Carnival Cruise Lines.
Several ships had power problems, including Carnival Triumph, which stranded passengers for days at sea in squalid conditions in February 2013.
“We believe we have reached a positive inflection point for our company as we return to earnings growth in 2014 and work hard to ensure that growth accelerates in the years to come,” Donald said.
The third quarter saw the introduction of Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess in the Mediterranean and the brand’s first programme of sailings from China on Sapphire Princess.
Costa Cruises announced that it will position Costa Serena in China next year, bringing the company’s total to four ships based in the world’s fastest growing cruise market.
The corporation said it believes it is the largest provider of cruise holidays home-ported in China.