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Carnival, the cruise operator, has raised its profit forecast for fiscal year 2017, which it credited to an increased number of bookings at higher prices for the rest of the year.
The Miami-based company, which is dual listed in the US and UK, on Tuesday raised its outlook for full-year earnings per share to $3.50-$3.70, versus the $3.30-$3.60 range it had previously expected, and above the $3.45 it posted for FY 2016.
However, it warned that the current quarter would see earnings per share dip on a year-over-year basis, to 43-47 cents a share, compared to 49 cents in the same three-month period in 2016, as unfavourable changes in fuel prices and currency conversion take a bite out of the ocean-going vacation company’s bottom line.
For the three months to February 28, Carnival — the owner of brands including P&O Cruises, Holland America and Costa — reported adjusted earnings per share of 38 cents per share, on a total net income of $279m, excluding one-time items. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had looked for earnings per share of 35 cents on net income of $250.83m. Changes in fuel prices and currency adjustments docked 13 cents a share from its
Revenues for the quarter were $3.8bn, in line with Wall Street’s expectations. The company had previously forecast revenues for the full year to rise 2.5 per cent on a constant currency basis; on Tuesday, Carnival revised that figure upwards to reflect expectations for a 3 per cent year-on-year rise.
Carnival president and chief executive Arnold Donald said in a statement:
“We are off to a good start delivering another quarter of operational improvement on top of a very strong first quarter last year. Our performance was driven by increased demand, particularly for our core Caribbean itineraries, leading to higher year-over-year ticket prices which enabled us to overcome the significant negative impact of both fuel and currency to exceed the high end of our guidance range.”
Mr Donald has been working to turn the company around after it was hit by a series of disasters including the sinking of the Costa Concordia cruise ship in 2012 and a 2013 power outage on the Carnival Triumph that left it stranded at sea for four days. It was hit with a $40m penalty in a US federal court in December after pleading guilty to dumping polluting waste in the sea off the coast of England.
New York-listed shares in the group have risen 20 per cent in the last 12 months. Following its quarterly results, Carnival shares were up nearly 2 per cent in early US trading.