Carnival Net Income Up in Q1

Arnold Donald

"Going forward we remain focused on creating demand in excess of measured capacity growth,” said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation, on the company’s first quarter earnings call.

Net income was up for the company in the first quarter, reported at $391 million compared to $352 million the year prior, while net income per passenger day rose to $18.25 from $16.81.

Ticket revenue and onboard revenue both rose year-over-year, while tour revenue was notably up for the first quarter.

In China, Donald said the company had moved to group sales from charter sales, to help try to move the booking curve while mitigating risk in the B2B market.

He conceded that charter sales had sometimes led to issues on the back-end of the charters with travel agents unable to fill ships at optimal pricing. This led to agents asking for credits on charters. With group sales, multiple agents are now blocking out staterooms, helping to spread the risk.

This year’s wave season was strong, according to Executive Vice President and CFO David Bernstein, who said booking volumes ran ahead of last year at higher pricing.

In Europe, the company’s seasonal programs are ahead on occupancy at higher prices. In Alaska, occupancy is ahead at lower pricing. In the Caribbean, challenges remain following hurricane damage with perception issues in the Eastern Caribbean.

Both Donald and Bernstein stressed the company would remain patient on pricing.

A new revenue management system, Yoda, is set to be in place at six Carnival brands by 2019, representing around 45 percent of the company’s business, Donald said.

As for the record-breaking cruise ship orderbook, Donald said the company remained commitment to measured capacity growth over many brands and regions.

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