Carnival reports second quarter earnings
"Our results in the second quarter clearly demonstrate the continuing recovery of our cruise business, in spite of the current economic uncertainty and political unrest," said Carnival Corporation Chairman & CEO Micky Arison, reporting net income of $194.2 million ($0.33 Diluted EPS) on revenues of $989.2 million for Carnival's second quarter ended May 31, 2002. This compares to net income of $187.0 million ($0.32 Diluted EPS) on revenues of $1.08 billion for the same quarter in 2001.
Net income for the six months ended May 31, 2002 was $323.8 million ($0.55 Diluted EPS) on revenues of $1.89 billion, compared to net income of $314.9 million ($0.54 Diluted EPS) on revenues of $2.09 billion for the same period in 2001.
Earnings for the second quarter of 2002 were reduced by a $9 million loss, including related expenses, on the sale of Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam and by $12 million from cancelled cruises.
Revenues for the second quarter of 2002 were 8.3 percent lower than last year primarily because of lower cruise ticket prices, largely attributed to the events of September 11, and a significant decline in the number of guests purchasing air transportation from the company. This was partially offset by an increase in cruise capacity of 2.1 percent. Net revenue yield (net revenue per available berth day after deducting the cost of air transportation and travel agent commissions) was down 5.3 percent, compared to the previous year's second quarter.
Partially offsetting the lower revenues was a 5.7 percent reduction in the company's cost per available berth day (excluding the cost of air transportation and travel agent commissions) due in part to the timing of advertising expenditures. Second quarter 2002 results also did not include any losses from the company's investment in Airtours plc, which was sold in June 2001.
Commenting on the second quarter results, Micky Arison said he was pleased that the company has continued to improve its performance since the events of September 11, noting that net revenue yields in the second quarter improved significantly from the 7.5 percent decline experienced in the first quarter of 2002. "Our results in the second quarter clearly demonstrate the continuing recovery of our cruise business, in spite of the current economic uncertainty and political unrest," he said. In addition, Arison noted that the results from the company's "cost containment initiatives continue to mitigate the pressure on net revenue yields."
Booking levels during the 2002 second quarter were substantially ahead of last year. During the last few weeks, booking levels have been approximately equal to last year's levels. Arison added that cruise pricing has largely recovered from the significantly discounted levels last fall, now running only slightly below the comparable period last year. On a cumulative basis, advance bookings and average prices for the balance of 2002 remain below last year's levels, primarily as a result of the dramatic slowdown in 2002 bookings last fall and the shift toward closer-to-sailing booking patterns.
"Based on bookings to date, we expect the trend in sequential yield improvement to continue through the remainder of the year, with net revenue yields expected to be down 3 percent to 5 percent in the third quarter and up slightly in the fourth quarter," Arison noted.
During the second quarter of 2002, Holland America announced that it had exercised its option for the construction of a fifth 1,848-passenger Vista-class ship, which is scheduled for delivery in spring 2006. Looking to the remainder of 2002, Carnival Cruise Lines plans to introduce the 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend in August 2002, offering the brand's first-ever cruises from Europe. Following its European program, the Carnival Legend will operate a series of voyages from various North American ports and then reposition to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to operate eight-day Caribbean sailings beginning Nov. 10. Carnival Cruise Lines is also scheduled to launch its largest passenger ship ever, the 2,974-passenger Carnival Conquest, from New Orleans in mid-November 2002, and Holland America's 1,848-passenger Zuiderdam is scheduled to enter service in December 2002 from Fort Lauderdale.