Carnival Corporation’s cumulative bookings for the next three quarters are at higher prices than last year and concentrated in the core cruise markets in North America and Europe.
Adjusted net profits for the last quarter edged up by $8 million year-on-year to $370 million as revenues grew from $3.7 billion to $3.9 billion on the back of a 4% increase in capacity.
The figures for the three months to May 31 were boosted by a 5% improvement in overall cruise ticket prices for the parent company of brands such as P&O Cruises, Cunard and Princess Cruises.
The improved rates affirmed efforts to increase demand “by building positive word of mouth through the delivery of exceptional guest experiences as well as our innovative marketing and public relations programmes,” said president and chief executive Arnold Donald.
The company expects full year 2017 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 3.5%, better than guidance given in March of up by around 3%.
Chief finance officer David Bernstein said: “Since the end of February, booking volumes for the next three quarters have been running in line with the prior year at nicely higher prices.
“At this point in time, cumulative bookings for the next three quarters are ahead of the prior year, again, at nicely higher prices.”
Looking forward, Donald said: “We are realising sustained strength in booking trends across all core products.
“We are delivering on our strategy to grow demand in excess of measured capacity growth while leveraging our industry-leading scale resulting in increased return on invested capital.”
The world’s largest cruise conglomerate saw the delivery of Princess Cruises’ Majestic Princess, the first ship tailored for Chinese passengers, as well as the addition of AIDAperla to German brand, AIDA Cruises.
Two additional Princess Cruises ships, Caribbean Princess and Royal Princess, were fitted with the technical requirements to switch them early next year to the Ocean Platform featuring Ocean Medallion, the interactive technology for passengers which will debut on Regal Princess in November.
Donald told analysts in a conference call: “We have and we’ll continue to create carefully engineered high-quality destination experiences that are uniquely tailored to our guest references from our private islands like Princess Cays and Half Moon Cay to the planned expansion of our cruise terminal in Barcelona to our most recently completed port destination Amber Cove, in the Dominican Republic.
“We’re providing exceptional guest experiences that enable our brands to capture a price premium. We have many more innovations planned in port development that we expect to rollout in the coming years.”
He identified “new destination opportunities” in Cuba, the Bahamas and China.
The company expects to benefit from growing populations, increasing wealth and developing countries in addition to increased spending by consumers on “experience versus products”, all of which are contributing to 4% annual growth expected in travel globally.