Carnival Corporation/PLC (LON:CCL) (NYSE:CCL) topped off a record-breaking year with strong fourth-quarter earnings and the cruise ships operator also said 2019 bookings are considerably ahead of 2018, although prices remain in-line with the current year and first quarter yields are expected to be flat
The dual UK and US-listed firm saw its fourth-quarter adjusted net income rise to US$492mln, giving earnings per share (EPS) of 0.70 US cents, compared to net income of US$452mln and EPS of 0.63 US cents a year earlier, with net cruise revenues up 6.1% to US$3.7bn compared to US$3.5bn.
READ: Carnival reports beat on 3Q earnings per share and revenue but stock retreats on higher fuel costs
For full-year 2018, Carnival recorded adjusted net income of US$3.0bn or US$4.26 per share, up from US$2.8bn, or US$3.82 for full-year 2017. Revenues for full-year 2018 were US$18.9bn, US$1.4bn higher than the US$17.5bn recorded a year earlier.
Carnival’s president and chief executive officer Arnold Donald noted: "In 2018, we grew net cruise revenue (constant currency) over five percent, achieving the highest revenue yields (constant currency) in our company's history, and producing double-digit adjusted earnings growth despite a significant drag from fuel and currency. More importantly, we achieved double-digit return on invested capital in line with the target we established five years ago.”
Looking ahead to next year’s outlook, the group – which is listed on London’s FTSE 100 index – said cumulative advance bookings for full-year 2019 are considerably ahead of the prior year at prices that are in line with the prior year.
Therefore, first quarter constant currency net revenue yields are expected to be flat year-on-year, Carnival added.
Carnival boss Donald commented: "Based on continued strength in underlying fundamentals, we are poised to deliver another year of strong revenue and earnings growth, with booking volumes running significantly ahead of our higher capacity growth and net revenue yields expected to exceed last year's record levels (constant currency).
“We remain committed to driving demand in excess of measured capacity growth to continue the momentum into 2019 and beyond."
Carnival’s shares were weaker in London and New York, however, reflecting the pricing environment, losing 8.4% at 3,984p and down 6.1% at US$51.68, respectively.