Costa Moves Up, Seventh Largest Brand

Moving up to become the seventh largest cruise brand in the world in 2004, according to estimates by Cruise Industry News, Costa Crociere will be able to accommodate some 625,000 passengers in 2004.

Costa recently reported that 2003 had been a record year with 557,300 passengers and 4,315,116 passenger days, compared to 462,036 passengers and 3,619,986 passenger days in 2002, and with sales of 785.6 million euros compared to 733 million euros in 2002.

Operating income was 105 million euros, according to Costa, which said it was down compared to 2002 because of strong pressure on prices throughout the year, adding that the price pressure had leveled off at the beginning of 2004.

In related news, Costa also named Gianni Onorato president. Onorato, who was formerly vice president of cruise operations, will report to Chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi.

Part of Onorato's objectives will be to further streamline and innovate the company's core business.

Other appointments include Mario Martini who has been named senior vice president of sales and marketing for the Europe markets and "the rest of the world." Martini was previously vice president of sales and marketing. Meanwhile, Dino Schibuola, chairman and CEO of Costa Cruises in Miami, remains in charge of the markets in North, Central and South America.

Assuming Onorato's previous position as vice president of cruise operations is Antonio De Rosa, who has joined Costa from MSC Cruises.

A central administration and finance department has also been established under the newly appointed vice president and CFO Beniamino Maltese who was formerly vice president and group treasurer.

Comparing Numbers...

Using an exchange rate of $1.20, Costa's reported revenues for 2003 (785,647,000 euros or $942,776,400), translate into revenue per passenger day of $218.48 for 2003, compared to $243.05 for 2002.

The reported operating income translates into $29.20 per passenger day for 2003.

Total costs and expenses are estimated to be 680,647,000 million euros (the difference between revenues and operating income) or $816,776,400 which translates into $189.29 per passenger day.

For 2003, Carnival Corporation reported revenue per passenger day of $201.68 for the group as a whole, operating income of $41.52, and costs and expenses of $160.16.

Royal Caribbean Cruises reported revenue of $188.60, operating income of $26.22 and costs and expenses of $162.38 per passenger day for 2003.

The Star Group reported revenue of $189.45, operating income of $12.40, and costs and expenses of $177.05 per passenger day for 2003.

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