Carnival Corp. bookings up except for CCL

By Tom Stieghorst
Carnival Corp. said that since March, booking volumes for the next three quarters, excluding Carnival Cruise Lines, have been higher, and at higher prices than last year.

But bookings at its flagship line are lower, at lower prices. The net effect is that cumulative advance bookings for Carnival Corp. are behind last year at lower prices.

Carnival made the disclosure in reporting its Q2 results. By one measure, Q2 profits were lower. Carnival said that accounting on a non-GAAP basis, it earned $72 million in Q2 2013, down from $159 million a year earlier.

Using GAAP accounting, which requires Carnival to adjust for unrealized losses on fuel derivative contracts, it earned $41 million in the latest quarter, up from $14 million a year ago. Carnival said revenues of $3.5 billion were in line with last year.

Net revenue yields, a measure of prices combined with occupancy, were down 1.9% from a year earlier, while costs fell marginally.

Net cruise costs, excluding fuel, were up 8.8% for the quarter "primarily due to the timing of drydock expenses, vessel repair costs and nonrecurring items which benefited the prior year." Fuel costs fell 9.7% from Q2 2012, leaving gross costs down 0.1%.

Chairman Micky Arison said the quality and innovation across Carnival's fleet has never been greater, while values are "exceptional."

"We are working to more broadly communicate that message through stepped-up consumer and trade marketing efforts as well as strengthened engagement of our travel agent partners. We believe these initiatives, combined with slower supply growth, will lead to increased yields."

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.
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