Carnival Cruise Lines has reported revenues of $259.4 million for its first quarter ended February 28, 1990, which is a 12 percent increase from $231.8 million for the first quarter of 1989. Net income was $25.2 million as against $46.3 million for the 1989 first quarter.

In a prepared statement, Mickey Arisen, President, pointed out that the line's cruise ship Carnivale was out of service undergoing refurbishment for six weeks, and that Holland America Line's Westerdam was at the Meyer Shipyard for the entire period being lengthened by 130 feet.

Arison also cited other factors which contributed to a decline in earnings though to a lesser degree. The factors include higher general and administrative costs incurred during the quarter in anticipation of the Fantasy sailing in early March.

For the first quarter of 1990, Carnival's results include the Holland America Line and Windstar Sail Cruises' fleets for the full quarter, compared to only two months last year. While the quarter shows a revenue increase of $27.6 million over the same period last year, for one month the ships of HAL and Windstar should have generated such revenues alone at maximum load factors. (About 3,992 berths, excluding the Westerdam, operating seven- and 10-day cruises at an average per person rate of $1,750 per cruise plus onboard spending would yield $28 million at 100 percent occupancy.) In addition would be the revenue generated by the land-based operations in Alaska, the Crystal Palace Hotel and the Carnival airline.

The official statement also said that the company's 14 ships carried 165,031 passengers during the quarter, representing a seven percent decrease from the 176,831 carried during the first quarter of 1989. However, the decrease of 11,800 passengers is close to what the Carnivale would have carried alone at full capacity during the six weeks she was out of operation.

While Cruise Industry News has not yet access to the financial documents to be filed for the first quarter, at press time it would appear that bookings must have been softer than normal for all the ships during the first quarter.

As a percentage margin of revenues, the net profit margin for the first quarter was less than 10 percent, which is not Carnival-style.

Arison said that the additional capacity provided by the stretched Westerdam and the new Fantasy will give Carnival the opportunity to return to the earnings growth that the company enjoyed during the late 1980s.