Carnival Corporation gave an optimistic outlook for 2010 in its Q4 and year-end earnings call on Dec. 18, 2009, expecting each quarter of the new year to be better as the year progresses. Fleetwide revenue growth is projected at 10 percent with a 7.7 percent increase in capacity. Carnival will be introducing six new ships next year, four for its European brands and two for North American brands. Net revenue yield on a current dollar basis is expected to increase 2 to 3 percent due to favorable currency exchange rates or be flat or up slightly on a constant dollar basis. While cruise pricing has been firming up, fuel prices have been going up as well and will represent a drag on 2010 earnings. The earnings guidance for 2010 is in the range from $2.10 to $2.30 per share. The suspended dividend will be discussed at a company board meeting in January.
It is unclear whether the Copenhagen UN conference on the climate generated any further guidance to the cruise industry beyond the signals that were already there – that emission regulations will tighten and that costs of complying will go up. With the public concern for the environment, “cruise lines are looking at all the systems as well as at carbon trading or levies – and how they can cover the costs in the ticket price. It comes down to what the consumer is willing to pay to cruise on a ‘green’ ship. All the technical innovations needed to reduce the carbon footprint and other emissions must be paid for,” said the experts that Cruise Industry News talked to. At the top of the list of viable powerplant alternatives is nuclear power.
NY and NJ Predict Record 2010
New York and New Jersey are expecting passenger records in 2010. Thomas Spina, director of cruise operations for New York City’s Manhattan and Brooklyn terminals, is forecasting more than 1 million passengers. Across the harbor in Bayonne, New Jersey, Anthony Caputo, port director at Cape Liberty Cruise Port, said he expects 425,000 passengers, up from 320,000 passengers this year. A large number of the passengers are from foreign markets, combining cruises with pre- and post-stays in New York.