Carnival Corporation has reported net income of $965.4 million, or $1.61 per share, on revenues of $3.8 billion for its fiscal year ended Nov. 30, 2000, compared to net income of $1.0 billion, or $1.66 per share, on revenues of $3.5 billion for the year ended Nov. 30, 1999. Carnival attributed the results to lower yields and higher fuel costs.
Carnival Corp. ships carried 2.7 million passengers and reported 16.8 million passenger cruise days in 2000, compared to 2.4 million passengers and 14.9 million passenger cruise days in 1999.
The total fleet counted 37 ships and 47,964 berths in 2000, compared to 34 ships and 41,800 berths the previous year.
Carnival reported net income of $193.8 million, or $0.33 per share, on revenues of $850.3 million for its fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, 2000, compared to net income of $251.0 million, or $0.40 per share, on revenues of $791.2 million in its fourth quarter of 1999.
Carnival reported that its ships carried 674,000 passengers for 4.2 million passenger cruise days in its fourth quarter in 2000, compared to 618,000 passengers for 3.8 million passenger cruise days in its fourth quarter in 1999.
In a conference call on Dec. 21, 2000, Howard Frank, vice chairman and chief financial officer for Carnival, said that if the Millennium effect is taken out, first quarter yield should be flat.
Frank said that Carnival was relatively well booked into the first quarter and that Carnival was in relatively good shape.
"We see increases in bookings for the core products; they book well, but pricing is not where we want it to be," he added.
Frank also said that the higher-end luxury product of Seabourn Cruise Line is struggling more than the company expected, while the QE2 was performing well. "We continue to be positive about the Cunard (Line) brand," he added.
Costa Crociere continues to perform well as a brand, according to Frank, who also said that the motivation to move the Tropicale to Costa was the delay of the stretching of the Costa Classica.
Frank said management had decided to delay bringing the Classica to the yard until the mid-section is ready. "We will try again a year later - assuming the section is finished.
"Costa needs more capacity and asked for this ship. They think the Tropicale is perfect," Frank added. In the fourth quarter, Costa completed the reflagging of its ships to Italian flag.
Fourth-quarter earnings were boosted by a reduction in deferred tax liability related to the flag change, which in tum was offset by higher fuel costs and the weak Euro when translated into U.S. dollars.
Starting with the first quarter of 2001, Costa's results will be incorporated into Carnival Corporation.
Airtours had a difficult year in 2000, according to Frank, who said he was hopeful that the company will start making progress in 2001 following what he called the re-engineering and re-focusing of Airtours.
Carnival has also reached a settlement with ABB, which will compensate the cruise company with an estimated $18 million for lost profits and replace the AZIPODS with new and improved units. The existing units will be replaced at no cost to Carnival, according to Frank.
For the year 2001, Carnival expects its passenger capacity to be up 9.7 percent and Costa's capacity to be up 17 percent.
"We are in good shape for the first quarter," Frank said. "The spring and summer will depend on the booking pattern in January, February and March."
Pricing-wise, Frank said that the Carnival companies had started out with relatively low prices to provide a strong base of business and then hoped to raise prices later (during the Wave Period), rather than having to discount later.
Added Micky Arison, Carnival chairman, "We are pretty much holding prices and hope that if the Wave Period is strong we can raise prices slightly."
Has Carnival been affected by fears of an impending recession? "We have not seen a slow down," Arison said.
He promised another conference call in the fourth week of January or first week of February by which time the company will know how the Wave Period is going, he said.
At press time, Carnival traded at $29.38, up from $25.81 just prior to the announcement of the year-end results and 2001 outlook.