The new Holland America Line ship Nieuw Statendam has been delivered by Fincantieri Marghera shipyard in Venice.
The vessel is the 16th Holland America Line ship built by Fincantieri and is the line’s second Pinnacle-class ship after Koningsdam, delivered in 2016.
Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri will also build the third vessel in the series, due to be delivered in 2021.
Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation’s chairman; Arnold Donald, the corporation’s president and chief executive; Stein Kruse, the chief executive of Holland America Group; and Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line, all attended yesterday’s ceremony.
According to the shipbuilding team, the 99,500-tonne vessel’s technology is aimed at ensuring energy efficiency and reducing the environmental impact.
Fincantieri is currently designing or building 53 other ships across all of its yards.
Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise ship company, posted a record $2.8 billion profit for its full fiscal year 2016 as the company looks towards another solid year for the cruise industry in 2017.
Carnival Corp. reported the record full year and fourth quarter earnings Tuesday. Carnival announced net income for the full year 2016 of $2.8 billion, or $3.72 diluted EPS, compared to $1.8 billion, or $2.26 diluted EPS, for the prior year.
Carnival Corp. said revenues for the full year 2016 were $16.4 billion, $700 million higher than the $15.7 billion in the prior year.
“We achieved the most profitable year in our company’s history as well as record fourth quarter earnings,” said Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald. “The continued execution of our core strategy to drive consumer demand in excess of measured capacity growth, contain costs and leverage our industry-leading scale resulted in our third consecutive year of significantly higher earnings and return on invested capital. The delivery of over $5 billion in cash from operations for our shareholders enabled increased dividend distributions reaching $1 billion and the investment of over $2.3 billion in the repurchase of Carnival Corporation stock.”
Highlights from the fourth quarter 2016 included the U.S. debut of Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista. Holland America’s Koningsdam also made its North American debut in November while Seabourn took delivery of ultra-luxury cruise ship Seabourn Encore.
During the quarter, Carnival Corp. also signed a memorandum of agreement with Meyer Werft for three new 180,000-ton cruise ships that will be powered by liquefied natural gas, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. Two of the ships are for Carnival Cruise Line and are scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2022. The third ship is designated for P&O Cruises (UK) and is scheduled for delivery in 2020. The company also signed an agreement with Shell to begin fueling its LNG-powered ships, starting with AIDA and Costa ships scheduled to launch in 2019.
Looking ahead, Carnival said it expects another solid year in 2017, forecasting adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.30 to $3.60, compared to 2016 adjusted earnings per share of $3.45 in 2017.
“We are anticipating another solid year of operational improvement in 2017. Despite the unusual and significant impact of fuel and currency working against us simultaneously, the underlying strength in our fundamental business leaves us well positioned to achieve sustained double digit return on invested capital and to create continued value for our shareholders,” Donald added.
The launch of Holland America’s Koningsdam was one of Carnival Corp.’s second-quarter highlights.
Driven by higher ticket prices and fuller ships, Carnival Corp. had net income of $605 million in the second quarter, up from $222 million a year earlier.
Net revenue yields rose 3.6%, significantly higher than the range of 1.5% to 2.5% in the company’s earlier forecast.
The results came despite a currency-exchange drag and fuel price increase equal to $127 million.
“This was among the most remarkable quarters in the history of the company,” said CEO Arnold Donald, citing not only the earnings but the introduction of three new flagships (Carnival Vista, Holland America Line’s Koningsdam and the AidaPrima) and the historic launch of Cuba cruises by the new Fathom brand.
Carnival’s revenue advanced slightly to $3.7 billion from $3.6 billion.
The increase in yield was a combination of a 3.5% increase in ticket prices and a 4% rise in onboard spending, CFO David Bernstein said.
Prices for Europe cruises on Carnival’s North America brands are lower although occupancies are up, Bernstein said.
Donald positioned the decision by Britain to leave the European Union as a boost for Cunard Line and P&O Cruises because their fares in the weakened pound sterling are now more competitive with land vacations abroad for British travelers.
Bernstein said every change of 10% or more in the pound’s value has an effect of about 8 cents a share, or about $60 million, on Carnival’s full-year results.
Donald said Carnival has looked at its U.K and European forecasts in light of the Brexit vote. “At this point, we have no reason to adjust anything,” he said.
Cruise stocks, including Carnival’s, were hit harder than the market in general after the British vote. After the earnings release, Carnival shares were up more than 4% but were up less than 0.25% by 11:30 am Eastern.
Asked about the future development of Fathom, Donald said that its cruises to the Dominican Republic are geared toward a “travel segment rather than cruise,” and that Carnival’s ability to access that segment is “challenging.” He said Cuba sailings on Fathom have been successful and are very strongly booked for fall, but that there are still unsold cabins on summer departures.