Carnival Corporation saw first quarter net profits almost double to $301 million from $159 million the same time a year ago.
This came as revenues rose to $3.7 billion during the key wave selling period compared to $3.5 billion achieved in the equivalent three months to the end of February in 2015.
The pre-tax income was up from $52 million to $143 million year-on-year.
Cumulative advance bookings for the remainder of 2016 are “well ahead” of last year at slightly higher prices.
Booking volumes since January for the remainder of the year are running ahead of last year’s historically high levels at higher prices, according to the company, with occupancy on ships in Europe ahead year-on-year.
President and chief executive, Arnold Donald, said it was too early to know the exact impact of the Brussels terrorist bombings on the business, although be admitted last November’s Paris attacks did affect bookings.
“Historically, there has been some temporary impact from events like this and the level of the impact depends on a lot of different factors,” he said.
“But eventually people adapt. We don’t know exactly where we are in the process at this point, but right now we see no reason to change guidance.
“Our philosophy is, things happen every year, and we anticipate that without knowing exactly where or what things will happen and we factor that in to an extent, so it’s too early to see the full fallout of that, but at this point in time, we’re comfortable with the guidance that we’ve given and see no reason to change it.”
He added: “We still have a number of brands going to Turkey. And we are in constant contact with every intelligence agency in the world and all the various security and enforcement agencies as well. Safety to our guests is number one.”
Donald said: “Our ongoing guest experience innovations coupled with our increasingly effective marketing and communication efforts have driven additional demand for our brands, resulting in a strong booked position.
“The lower levels of inventory remaining for sale for the balance of the year, particularly for our peak summer period, positions our brands well for continued revenue yield growth and builds confidence in our full year earnings forecast.”
Reviewing the three months to the end of February, Donald added: “Our teams delivered another strong quarter of operational improvement by creating increased demand for our brands and leveraging our scale which resulted in revenue yield improvement approaching six per cent and the near doubling of first quarter adjusted earnings.”
He revealed that Princess in the UK had seen a 40% increase in web traffic since the TV documentary The Cruise, set on board Regal Princess, began airing.
The company’s Germany-based AIDA brand recently took delivery of AIDAprima whole Holland America Line’s new flagship Koningsdam is due to be introduced in May.
Other new ship deliveries scheduled for 2016 include Carnival Vista in late April and Seabourn Encore in November.
P&O Cruises Australia recently announced that Pacific Pearl will leave the fleet in April 2017, where it will join the Cruise and Maritime Voyages fleet under the new name Columbus.
The disposal is consistent with Carnival Corporation’s long-term strategy of removing less efficient ships from its fleet as new capacity is introduced, according to the company.
Carnival’s newest brand, Fathom, will start seven-day cruises to Cuba in early May onboard the 700-passenger P&O Cruises’ ship Adonia initially visiting Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba as the first US-based cruise operator in more than 50 years to be granted approval to sail to the island.
“Concerning the future of cruises in Cuba, we have already begun the process for approval for other brands to sail for Cuba in the months and years ahead,” Donald confirmed, adding that 2017 was the most likely date for expansion.
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