Carnival Corporation has reported net income of $157.8 million, or $0.26 per share, on revenues of $748.3 million for its fust quarter ended February 28, 1999, compared to net income of $109.9 million, or $0.18 per share, on revenues of $557.8 million for the first quarter of 1998.

Carnival also reported 3,505,000 passenger cruise days and a load factor of 100.9 percent for the first quarter of this year, compared to 2,827,000 passenger cruise days and a load factor of 105.9 percent for the same period last year.

According to Carnival Chairman Micky Arison, new capacity was the primary driver of earnings increases during the quarter.

The Carnival fleet saw a 17 percent capacity increase in the first quarter with the Elation, the Paradise, and the Wind Surf.

The addition of Cunard Line also boosted revenues, but Cunard did not have a significant impact on net income, according to Carnival. Being a luxury line, Cunard's per dierns are higher, but occupancy rates tend to be lower.

Affiliated operations, that is, Airtours/Sun Cruises and Costa Crociere, contributed a net loss of $5.9 million in the quarter. (These two companies traditionally lose money in the winter which is compensated for by earnings during the rest of the year.)

Looking forward, Arison said that the outlook for the year is positive. "Historically, the most important factor driving our earnings has been capacity growth, and we are looking at a capacity increase of approximately 13.6 percent in 1999."

Carnival Corp. is still in the process of negotiating contracts for two new ships for Holland America Line. But due to price increases at European yards, there are reports that Carnival is talking to yards in South Korea and Japan. The same fate may befall the Queen Marv project for Cunard. European builders may also not have a building slot for the planned 2002 or 2003 delivery.