Carnival Cruise Lines has reported net income from continuing operations of $46.8 million on record revenues of $328.8 million for its first fiscal quarter ended February 29, 1992, compared to income from continuing operations of $37.4 million and net income of $30.5 million on revenues of $292.9 million for the same quarter last year.

Net earnings as a percentage of revenues were 14.2 percent this past quarter compared to 10.4 per­cent last year.

Carnival's results were attributed to the addi­tional capacity provided by the Ecstasy which entered service in June of 1991.

In a prepared statement, Mickey Arison, Chairman and C:EO, said that it was the company's ability to maintain operating margins that enabled it to improve earnings by 25 percent.

At press time, Carnival was listed on the New York Stock Exchange at $30.25 compared to a recent high of $34.

History

By comparison, Carnival posted net income of $25.2 million on revenues of $259.4 million for the first quarter of its fiscal 1990 (9.7 percent); net earnings of $463 million on revenues of $2.31.8 million in the same quarter of 1989 (19.9 percent); net earnings of $46 million on revenues of $152.9 million in the same quarter of 1988 (30 percent).; net earnings of $26 million on revenues of $121 million in the same quarter of 1987 (215 percent); and net earnings of $18 million on revenues of $93 million in the first quarter of 1986 (19.4 percent).

Carnival's earnings have been adversely affected by the Crystal Palace since 1989, but with the disposition of the hotel complex, it has been treated as "discontinued operation" since last fall for accounting purposes.

In its first fiscal quarter of 1992, the combined Carnival fleet carried 279,910 passengers achieving an occupancy level of 102 percent. In the fust quarter of 1991, the Carnival fleet carried 246,410 passengers for an occupancy level of 103.5 percent compared to 165,031 passengers and an occupancy level of 103.7 percent in the same quarter of 1990; 176,831 passengers and an occupancy level of 106.5 percent in the same quarter of 1989; 137,000 passengers and an occupancy level of 108.2 percent m the same quarter of 1988.

Stronger Growth Ahead?

Several factors support continued strong earnings development for Carnival: 1) the cruise company has divested itself of its money-losing Bahamas hotel complex; 2) it continues to introduce new efficient ships; 3) tl is expected to sell or redploy its older ships in new markets; and 4) it is so far the only cruise line to be introducing new ships as industry capacity growth begins to decelerate in 1993 and as older ships may be withdrawn, unable to meet new safety standards. This development is expected to lead to higher capacicy utilization, even rising fares. The bottom line could be a dramatic earnings development starting in 1993/94.