Carnival Cruise Lines has reported net income of $123.1 million on revenues of $534.3 million in its third quarter ended August 31, 1991, compared to net income of $107.2 million on revenues of $482.9 million for the same quarter in 1990.

For the nine months ended August 31, 1991, Carnival reported net income of $197 million on revenues of 1.208 billion, compared to net income of $187 million on revenues of $1.095 billion for the same period in 1990.

Carnival attributed the increases for the third quarter primarily to new capacity provided by the Ecstasy, which entered service in June of 1991, as well as an excellent Alaska season for Holland America Line-Westours.

The fleet-wide load factor was reported to be 113.7 percent for the three month period, or 328,129 passengers, compared to 295,989 passengers or a 113.1 percent load factor in the same period last year.

For the first nine months of its fiscal 1991, the company achieved a fleetwide occupancy level of 107.2 percent, carrying 837,275 passengers, compared to 108,3 percent from 718,372 passengers during the same period last year.

Carnival Chairman and CEO Mickey Arison said in a prepared statement that he was pleased with the company's performance particularly in light of the negative impact the recession and the Gulf War have had on the travel business.

"The fact that Carnival has been able to achieve growth in both revenue and earnings during an extremely difficult economic environment bodes well for the future of our business," said Arison.

Carnival reported earnings per share to be $0.90 for its third quarter compared to $0.80 for the same period last year, and $1.45 for the nine month period compared to $1.39 last year.

At press time, Carnival's shares closed at $25 5/8 on the American Stock Exchange.

Carnival's third quarter earnings represent a 15 percent increase over the same quarter last year. Moreover net earnings are 16.3 percent of revenues. For the first nine months, profits were up five percent reversing a seven percent decline after six months.

Carnival's numbers are surprising in light of the recession and the heavy discounting going on. In the larger picture, however, Carnival also benefited from some unique market factors that affected others negatively. While HAL always performs well during the Alaska season, this year also brought it Americans who were unwilling to sail in the 3 Mediterranean and chose Alaska as their second choice.

In addition, the company benefited from interest income from its second public offering. Debt payments were also postponed.

These factors should not detract from Carnival's performance, however. Other cruise lines, and the travel industry at large, have been hard pressed to show any profits so far this year.