Costa Crociere stood out in the survey of leading Italian companies carried out by Mediobanca’s Research Unit, comprising over 3,700 Italian enterprises that recorded revenue of at least 50 million euros last fiscal year. According to the findings of the survey, the Italian cruise company has further improved its business performance.

Sixty-fifth in size, with sales of 2.3 billion euros in 2008 (it was ranked 72nd the year before), Costa was ranked tenth in terms of profitability, with net income of 402 million euros (compared to twelvth place in the previous edition of the survey).

Costa is the only cruise company included in the Mediobanca survey and ranks as the leading travel company.

At present the Costa group has a total of 23 ships in service (14 for Costa Cruises, six for AIDACruises and three for Iberocruceros) with another seven due to be delivered by 2012 (three for Costa, three for AIDA and one for Iberocruceros). All Costa and Aida ships fly the Italian flag.

The Costa Deliziosa is currently being fitted out at Fincantieri’s Marghera shipyard and will enter service in January 2010. The arrival of the 92,600-ton, 2,826-passenger (maximum occupancy) Deliziosa will enable the company to double its top of the range offer. Together with her sister ship, the Costa Luminosa, christened on June 5 this year, the Deliziosa will be the most exclusive and innovative member of the fleet.

The group's growth in 2008 was driven by the performance of the Costa brand, which ended the year with around 1.2 million total guests, confirming its position as Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s number one cruise company.

The economic growth recorded in 2008 was accompanied by the commitment to social and environmental responsibility, particularly with regard to Costa. The company was the first cruise line to draft and issue a sustainability report; this is a purely voluntary form of reporting and its aim is to build trust based on transparent dissemination of the main results in the fields of social accountability and environmental compliance; the relevant initiatives include Costa’s three-year partnership with the World Wildlife Foundation, involving active support for a project to set up a network of protected marine areas in the Mediterranean.

In November Costa Cruises is publishing the fourth edition of its Sustainability Report (for FY 2008). The highlights include a 5 percent reduction in fuel consumption per mile sailed; a 5 percent reduction in consumption of potable water per person; 30 percent (273,458 kg) of special waste recycled; 2,126 cubic meters of glass and aluminum recycled; and an 8.5 percent reduction in garbage.