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Carnival final quarter and full year profits fall

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, has reported a fall for its final quarter and full financial year net and operating results.

Group net profit for the three months to 30 November fell to $546 million from $609 million a year earlier and operating profit (EBIT) decreased to $548 million from $597 million. Revenues increased to $4.26 billion from $3.94 billion.

In the 12 months to 30 November, net profit fell to $2.61 billion from $2.78 billion and EBIT decreased to $2.81 billion from $3.07 billion. Revenues increased to $17.51 billion from $16.39 billion.

For the full year 2016, adjusted net income excludes unrealized gains on fuel derivatives of $236 million and other net charges of $37 million. Revenues for the full year 2017 were $17.5 billion, $1.1 billion higher than the $16.4 billion in the prior year.

"We exceeded the high end of our original full year 2017 guidance by $0.22 per share, achieving record cash from operations of $5.3 billion and another adjusted earnings per share record despite a significant drag from fuel and currency,” said Arnold Donald, President and CEO, in a statement.

“Our full year performance was led by over 4.5% growth in ticket prices while overcoming a variety of headwinds, affirming that our core strategy, which is anchored in delivering exceptional guest experiences, driving demand through marketing programs to increase cruise consideration, and introducing new more efficient ships through measured capacity growth all while leveraging our scale, can deliver consistent earnings improvements," Donald said.

Key information for the fourth quarter 2017 compared to the prior year:

Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 6.8%. In constant currency, net revenue yields increased 4.2% for 4Q 2017, better than September guidance of up 1.5% to 2.5%.

Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 9.7 t. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 6.1%, in line with September guidance of up 6.0% to 7.0%.

Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates decreased earnings by $0.03 per share.

Voyage disruptions due to hurricanes reduced fourth quarter earnings by approximately $0.11 per share.

CMV sets up Mexican brand, Magellan to operate from Acapulco winter 2019

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

CMV Travel and Leisure Group Limited (CMV), the UK based cruise shipping company said it would deploy the 46,052 gross ton Magellan on the Pacific Coast of Mexico for winter 2019 to support the launch of Cruceros Marítimos Vacacionales, a new Mexican cruise brand.

The ship’s Mexican Riviera cruise programme would be aimed exclusively at the Mexican domestic market. Magellan will commence operations on 3 February 2019 with an introductory winter debut season of eight seven-night sailings homeporting from both Acapulco every Sunday and Manzanillo every Friday with the season finishing on 31March 2019. The voyages to/from the UK will be marketed internationally.

The company operates in the UK, Australia and the Us as Cruise & Maritime Voyages and in Germany as Transocean Cruises. Christian Verhounig, CEO explained, “CMV specialise in the development of dedicated source markets having successfully established markets and programs in the UK & Ireland, Germany, Australia and France. CMV will currently be the only exclusive Mexican cruise product available on the domestic leisure market. The Mexican market offers great potential and we plan to extend the season in 2020. This exciting new initiative is part of the Group’s continued strategic international development plan in achieving our longer-term growth objectives”.

The itinerary will include calls to Manzanillo and Cabo San Lucas in the Baja California peninsula plus two days at sea. Acapulco will be the primary gateway port serving the region of Guerrero and Mexico City. Both Mazatlan & Puerto Vallarta, apart from being transit calls will also provide secondary gateway ports to the cities of Guadalajara, Leon and the northern Mexico States.

John Dennis, Vice President Sales & Marketing of the CMV North American Fort Lauderdale based sales office will assume responsibility for the commercial management and business development of the Mexican operation with a maiden season capacity of 12,000 passengers.

John Dennis explained, “Following extensive development work over the past year which has involved numerous visits and meetings with many of the key stakeholders and Government officials, I am delighted that the Board have sanctioned this exciting and ground breaking new venture. We will be opening a dedicated sales office in Mexico City and officially launching Cruceros Marítimos Vacacionales and the debut 2019 Magellan program during the first quarter of 2018 with big trade launch events planned in Mexico City, Acapulco, Guadalajara and Mazatlan, at the 2018 “Tianguis Turistico” the most important event of the tourism sector in Mexico.”

Vard to build hybrid powered icebreaker expedition vessel to Ponant

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Vard, the Norwegian shipbuilder that is controlled by Fincantieri, will build an icebreaker expedition cruise ship that will employ the Double Acting Ship technology of Aker Arctic in finland, the cruise line said in a statement.

The technology means that the ship will sail stern first in extreme ice conditions, whereby its ABB Azipod propulsors will help it to break the ice. The 140 metre ship will be powered by hybrid electric power plant that uses LNG and packs of batteries, which means that it will incur zero emissions in electric mode and a sharp reduction of pollutants to the air when using LNG compared to oil fuel. The ship’s LNG tanks will have a capacity of 4,500 cubic metres and the ship will be built to the Polar Ice class PC2.

The ship will have a beam of 28 metres and a draught of 10 metres, which is far more than ships of this size usually have and which compares with the figure of Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 that is much larger.

There will be 138 cabins and suites in all and passenger amenities will include two panoramic restaurants, a grill restaurant, spa & wellness area, 16 Zodiacs for use on excursions plus two helicopters.

The ship’s technical design is by Aker Arctic in Finland, while the exterior design is by Stirling Design International in France. The as yet unnamed ship will fly the French flag and it is due to enter service in 2021, Ponant said.


Viking Ocean Cruises says seventh and eight ships contracts effective, takes up option for ships nine and 10

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Following the agreement signed last April between Fincantieri and Viking Ocean Cruises, the contracts for the construction of the seventh and eighth ships have become effective and, furthermore, the company has exercised the option for the ninth and the 10th unit, the cruise line said in a statement.

The new units will be sister ships of the ones already ordered, four of which have been delivered and currently operate successfully in the company’s fleet. The ships have a gross tonnage of 47,800 tons and accommodate 930 guests in 465 all-veranda cabins, built according to the latest navigation regulations and equipped with the most modern safety systems, including the “Safe return to port” system.

The first of the series, Viking Star, built at the shipyard in Marghera, took to sea in March 2015; the second, the third, and the fourth, Viking Sea, Viking Sky and Viking Sun, built at the shipyard in Ancona, were delivered respectively in March 2016, January and September 2017. The other six sister ships, including those related to the exercised option, will be delivered in 2018, 2019, 2021, two in 2022 and 2023.


TUI AG cruise operations stage 34% rise in operating profit

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

The cruise operations of TUI AG, the Hannover based tourism group that is listed in London, staged a 33/9% rise in operating profit in the 12 months to 30 September, the company said in a statement.

Operating profit (EBITDA) reached €255.6 million compared to €190.9 million in the previous financial year, while revenues rose to €815.0 million from €703.1 million, lifted by higher capacity and firmer rates.

TUI owns in full Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten in Germany and Marella cruises in the UK plus has a 50% stake in TUI Cruises in Germany. In all, these operate 16 ships.

TUI Cruises recorded a 1.2% rise in average daily rate, which reached €173 per passenger and day. Marella Cruises recorded a 8.3% increase to €131, while the figure for Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten increased by 2.6% to €594.

Marella Cruises’ passenger days increased by 30.7% to 2.27 million, the figure for TUI Cruises increased by 30.7% to 4.48 million, but Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten recorded a fall of 1.7% to 349,000, TUI AG said.