CruiseCarnival has agreed to sell two Costa ships in 2020 and a third in 2021, to be replaced by the new Costa Smerelda

Carnival Corp. beats expectations in Q4

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Carnival Corp. says is will reduce exotic itineraries for its European brands.
Carnival Corp. says is will reduce exotic itineraries for its European brands.

DORAL, Florida - Carnival Corp. reported lower net income for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended Nov. 30, but the fourth quarter beat projections of analysts.

Fourth-quarter net income was US$423 million on revenue of US$4.78 billion. Last year, Carnival earned US$494 million on revenue of US$4.45 billion.

For all of 2019, Carnival earned US$3 billion, down from US$3.2 billion a year earlier.

It isn’t clear that there is a lot to cheer about in Carnival Corp.’s outlook, judging from some comments made by CEO Arnold Donald in remarks to analysts.

Although he was upbeat in many respects, Donald said one of the company’s chief problems in 2019, sputtering demand for its European brands, is likely to “remain a headwind” in 2020.

He said supply growth in Europe, which was 20% this year, will slow to 5% next year but that the “yield challenges” facing Carnival Corp. will be similar to 2019.

Mr Donald said Carnival Corp. has adapted by reducing the number of exotic itineraries for its European brands, substituting those that are convenient, affordable and closer to home. 

He also noted that the company has agreed to sell two Costa ships in 2020 and a third in 2021, to be replaced by the new Costa Smerelda, a more efficient and more lucrative ship.

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Carnival Cruise also said the first eight sailings of the new 5,000-passenger Mardi Gras will be cancelled because the ship won’t be ready.

It is now advising booked guests and travel advisors that the first revenue sailing of the ship will be Nov. 14, 2020.

The cancellations result from a delay at the Meyer Turku shipyard, where the first ship in Carnival’s new XL class is under construction.

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