Carnival Corporation has reported net income of $65.1 million ($0.46 per share) on revenues of $385.3 million for its first quarter ended Feb. 28, 1994, compared to net income of $50.7 million ($0.36 per share) on revenues of $323.6 million a year ago.

Operating costs and expenses were $313.2 million for the first quarter 1994 compared to $271.9 million a year ago.

Operating income was $72 million this year, compared to $52 million last year.

In other developments, Carnival has transferred the FiestaMarina to Epirotiki Lines and raised its stake in that company from 16 percent to 43 percent. Carnival will charter the vessel from Epirotiki for a minimum of three years and it will continue to operate as the FiestaMarina.

Carnival Corp. Chairman Micky Arison and Vice Chairman Howard Frank also join the board of Epirotiki.

Improved Margins

Expressed as percentages, the net profit margin was 16.9 percent for the first quarter 1994 compared to 15.7 percent a year ago. The operating margin was 18.7 percent this year compared to 16 percent last year. Costs and expenses went down to 81.3 percent of total revenues for this past quarter compared to 84 percent for the same period a year ago.

Two factors would seem to have boosted Carnival's numbers: improved economies of scale with larger, more efficient ships; and, the opportunity to raise rates through yield management.

Carnival made more money and spent relatively less money while the company also carried relatively fewer passengers in the first quarter of this year compared to the same quarter last year.

This development promises to continue to boost Carnival's numbers as this year goes on as Carnival is the only cruise company among the large operators to introduce new capacity in 1994.

The company attributed its first quarter increases primarily to the additional capacity provided by Carnival Cruise Lines' Sensation, which entered service last November, and Holland America Line's Maasdam, which entered service in December 1993. Arison pointed out that the new division, FiestaMarina Cruises, had disappointed, however. Arison said that FiestaMarina "did not achieve the revenue contribution we had hoped for."

The combined Carnival Corp. fleets carried 314,839 passengers in the first quarter of 1994 compared to 265,151 passengers in the same quarter a year ago. Passenger days were 1.91 million in this past quarter compared to 1.6 million a year ago.

The average occupancy level was 100.2 percent for the first quarter 1994 compared to 100.9 percent for the same quarter last year.

In a prepared statement, Arison noted that there "was an increase in revenue per diems and continued strengthening in booking patterns."