Carnival Corp. gave an upbeat outlook for 2015
Friday after the cruise giant topped Q1 earnings expectations. Miami-based
Carnival's Q1 adjusted earnings of $159 million, or 20 cents a share, reversed
a net loss of $3 million in the prior-year quarter. Analysts were expecting
earnings of just 10 cents a share.
Carnival Corp. says cumulative advance bookings for
the remainder of the year are ahead of 2014's pace -- and at higher prices.
"The year is off to a strong start achieving
significantly higher earnings than the prior year and our previous
guidance," said CEO Arnold Donald in a statement. "Our onboard
revenue initiatives drove particularly strong improvement in the first quarter
with onboard yields more than 8% higher than prior year (constant dollar)."
The lower cost of fuel played a significant role in
the Carnival improvement, along with favourable exchange rates. Carnival said
Q1 gross cruise costs including fuel declined 9.6% in current dollars.
It was a big week for Carnival. Just the day before
reporting its positive results, Carnival Corp. announced orders that will add 9
new vessels to its 101-ship fleet over a four-year period from 2019 to 2022.
The company noted that it also has "an ongoing
program to further elevate guest experience across the company's existing fleet
and nine brands."