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Carnival forecasts financial year 2014 EPS $1.50 to $1.70

Carnival Corp & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, said it continues to expect full year 2014 net revenue yields, on a constant dollar basis, to be down slightly compared to the prior year and in line with the prior year on a current dollar basis.

“The company also continues to expect net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD for full year 2014 to be slightly higher than the prior year on a constant dollar basis,” it said in a statement.

Taking the above factors into consideration, the company forecasts full year 2014 non-GAAP diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $1.50 to $1.70, compared to 2013 non-GAAP diluted earnings of $1.58 per share.

Looking forward, Group CEO Arnold Donald stated, “We are on the path toward improved financial performance. We are working hard to maintain the momentum with additional product initiatives, continuous improvement in our already high guest satisfaction levels and greater utilization of our global scale.” 

Carnival says global bookings 20% ahead of last year at lower prices

Since January, booking volumes at Carnival Corp & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, for the remainder of the year are running well ahead of last year at lower prices, but the booking window is gradually lengthening, the company said in a statement.

At this time, cumulative advance bookings for the remainder of 2014 are ahead of the prior year at prices below prior year levels.

Group ceo Arnold Donald noted, “We have experienced a solid wave season, with booking volumes up almost 20 % globally surpassing last year’s cumulative advance booking levels, albeit at lower prices.”

“Many guests are booking further in advance, which increases visibility and builds confidence that yield comparisons will turn positive in the second half of 2014. Increased interest across our brands is an encouraging indication that our message is resonating as consumers recognize the strong value proposition and exceptional vacation experiences we provide.” 

Carnival Corp & plc first quarter $15 million net loss smaller than forecast on Europe, Carnival Cruise Line recovery

Carnival Corporation & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping group, reported first quarter to 28 February 2014 U.S. GAAP net loss, which included net unrealised losses on fuel derivatives of $17 million, was $15 million, or $0.02 diluted loss per share. For the first quarter of 2013, U.S. GAAP net income was $37 million, or $0.05 diluted earnings per share.  Analysts in London and New York has forecast EPS negative by $0.08.

Revenues for the first quarter of 2014 were $3.6 billion in line with the prior year.

“Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted that first quarter non-GAAP earnings were better than anticipated in the company’s December guidance due to better than expected ticket prices for Carnival Cruise Lines and our continental European brands, as well as the timing of certain expenses. “

Donald noted, “We see progress with our continental European brands and continue to be pleased with Carnival Cruise Lines’ pace of improvement. Exciting product innovations and strategic marketing initiatives at Carnival Cruise Lines have driven strong close-in demand resulting in sequential improvement in year-over-year quarterly ticket prices for the brand.”

 

During the quarter, Carnival Cruise Lines announced an exclusive partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises to bring the beloved children’s brand and favorite characters to its fleet and the Carnival LIVE Concert Series, which brings the best in live music to the seas with a diverse roster of popular music artists including Jennifer Hudson, Lady Antebellum and Jewel.  These brand building initiatives complement the continued roll-out of its Fun Ship 2.0 product enhancement program, as well as ongoing travel agent outreach and the unprecedented Great Vacation Guarantee. In addition, Carnival Cruise Lines was the national cruise line advertiser of the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, with its creative “Bobslide” campaign which targeted the family segment and furthered the brand’s new marketing campaign launched last fall.

 

 

Mitsubishi to book heavy loss from AIDA Cruises’ two newbuildings

Mitsubishi Heavy Industres., the Japanese shipbuilder, will reportedly book a heavy loss from an order for two 124,500 gross ton cruise ship it won in 2011 from IDA Cruises, the German unit of Carnival Corp & plc, news reports say.

“The company also said that, while it would book an extraordinary loss of 60 billion yen from its cruise ship business, it would still be able to achieve its 150 billion yen net profit projection for this financial year,” the Reuters news agency reports, referring to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Cruise Business Online calculated at the time that the Japanese company agreed to build the ships at about €10,000 to €15,000 per berth cheaper than newbuilding orders placed with European builders at the time, indicating a discount of up to 10%, figures show.

On 3 August 2011, AIDA Cruises said, it had signed an agreement with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan to build two cruise liners of 124,500 gross tons each, with accommodation for 3,250 passengers. The ships are due for delivery in March 2015 and March 2016 and they will cost about €140,000 per lower berth each, AIDA Cruises said in a statement

AIDA’s 3,250 passenger vessels contracted in Japan will cost about €140,000 per lower berth. By comparison, the company agreed to pay €150,000 per lower berth on a 71,300 gross ton ship ordered at Meyer Werft in Germany last year. The ship will have 2,192 lower beds.

The most expensive contract in per berth terms of recent time has been an order Royal Caribbean International placed with Meyer Werft for a 158,000 gross ton Project Sunshine – since renamed the Quantum Class - vessel Quantum of the Seas with 4,100 lower berths: it will cost €170,000 per lower berth to build. The brand is part of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd group.

Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises, both parts of the Carnival Corp & plc group and sister companies of AIDA Cruises, agreed to pay €155,000 per lower berth for two and one 143,000 gross ton newbuilding at Fincantieri, respectively. All three ships will have 3,600 lower berths. Royal Princess, first of the two Princess ships, has since been delivered, while the second one will be named Regal Princess. The P&O Cruises’ ship will be called Britannia.

Norwegian Cruise Line that ordered two 143,500 gross ton newbuildings at Meyer Werft last year got their 4,000 passenger vessels at €150,000 per lower berth. These have since entered service as Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway

Mitsubishi built two ships for Princess Cruises – Diamond Princess and Sapphire Princess – early in the previous decade, but has not won cruise liner orders since then.

MSC Cruises signs two plus two option 167,600 gross ton ship deal with STX France

MSC Cruises signed a letter of intent (LOI) with STX France for the construction of two new cruise ships with an option for two more. The two ships will join MSC Cruises' fleet, currently counting 12 ships, all built in the Saint-Nazaire yards, the Geneva based  cruise shipping company said in a statement.

The first two cruise ships are due for delivery respectively in 2017 and 2019. The ships will be 1033 feet (315 metre) long and 141 feet wide, with a gross tonnage of about 167,600 tons, boasting 2,250 cabins for guests, nearly 820 crew cabins, and accommodating 5,700 passengers and 1,536 crew members.

"The new prototype will be the biggest cruise ship ever built by a European ship owner and the most versatile and flexible of the world: not only will it be able to call in most of the ports and destinations on earth, without compromise, but it will have extraordinary features that will make it the perfect choice at sea, in summer and in winter,” said Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises.

“The two new ships will reaffirm MSC Cruises' dedication to outstanding and genuine dining options and out-of-this-world entertainment with new panoramic spaces, a bigger theatre and a spectacular amusement park connected to an outdoor aqua park as well as a two-deck 'inside promenade."

Among the new features of the ships will be specially designed cabins for families and an extended MSC Yacht Club, the entirely self-contained private club on the prestigious foredecks that will now be completed with a vast solarium, a private lounge and restaurant and duplex suites.

The new prototype is the result of a long development process, conducted in the framework of STX's ECORIZON ® programme, leading to the creation of a new generation of ships that are cleaner, more efficient and moretechnological. They will be water emission free, while its hull and propulsion system will be optimised for better energy efficiency. The installation of scrubbers will allow for fumes to be neutralised and CO2 emissions to be in accordance with the latest evolutions of international maritime regulations.

The contract signed is worth 16 million working hours for STX France and its subcontractors, 9 million for the prototype and 7 million for the second unit. Building is due to start in spring 2015. The contract will be binding when the financial package is secured.

MSC Newbuild 2 1000px

"Growth and development have always been the characteristics that have defined MSC since the very beginning of our journey into the world of cruising. The launch of this prototype and the building of these two new ships confirm our commitment to further growth and to further development. MSC Cruises will expand its capacity by 31%; we will incredibly enrich our offer on board and we will broaden our horizons to ensure we meet the growing global demand in every region," said MSC Cruises' Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago.

"Once again our longstanding partnership with the STX yard has proved key for these plans."We are really proud of building this new generation of ships for MSC Cruises, a long-time appreciated partner. We invested a lot of R&D and design efforts to make sure that MSC Cruises' new flagship would truly be unmatched. The latest commercial negotiation was particularly challenging in the light of today's global competitive landscape in the shipbuilding industry. I would like to point out that the competitiveness agreement signed with our trade unions has been decisive to reach this LOI signature," said Laurent Castaing, STX France General Manager.

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