Carnival Corporation & plc reported record net income of $416 million, or $0.51 diluted EPS, on revenues of $2.81 billion for its fourth quarter ended November 30, 2006. Net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 was $336 million, or $0.41 diluted EPS, on revenues of $2.57 billion.
Net income for the year ended November 30, 2006 was a record $2.28 billion, or $2.77 diluted EPS, on revenues of $11.84 billion, compared to net income of $2.25 billion, or $2.70 diluted EPS, on revenues of $11.1 billion for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2005.
Fourth quarter revenues increased by 9.2 percent driven by a 5.5 percent increase in cruise capacity and higher cruise revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day). Net revenue yields for the fourth quarter of 2006 increased 2.3 percent compared to the prior year. Adjusting for the effect of movement in currencies, net revenue yields as measured on a local currency basis (“constant dollar basis”) increased 0.8 percent over the same period last year. Gross revenue yields increased 3.0 percent.
Net cruise costs per available lower berth day (“ALBD”) for the fourth quarter of 2006 increased 1.0 percent compared to costs for the same period last year. On a constant dollar basis, net cruise costs per ALBD decreased 0.6 percent from the same period last year. Gross cruise costs per ALBD increased 2.3 percent compared to the prior year.
Commenting on fiscal 2006 performance, Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman and CEO Micky Arison said, “Following two exceptionally strong years of earnings growth in 2004 and 2005, we ended 2006 with a modest increase in earnings per share as a result of a very significant increase in fuel prices.” Higher fuel prices increased operating costs by $210 million in 2006, which reduced earnings per share by $0.25.
Arison continued, “Revenue yields (in both current and constant dollars) increased 1.5 percent for the full year 2006. Our European cruise brands enjoyed record yields and earnings this past year, demonstrating the benefits of our global strategy. Our North American brands experienced strong pricing for their European and Alaskan cruises. Pricing in the Caribbean was down, which we attribute to hurricane fears and a challenging economic environment in North America.”
Looking forward to 2007, Arison indicated that he was optimistic that the introduction of four new ships would drive earnings growth in 2007.
In March, Carnival Cruise Lines’ 2,974-passenger Carnival Freedom and Princess Cruises’ 3,100-passenger Emerald Princess are scheduled for delivery. AIDA’s 2,050-passenger AIDAdiva will be delivered in April and Costa’s 3,000- passenger Costa Serena in May. Collectively the company will have an 8.4 percent increase in capacity in 2007, with a significant portion of that increase planned for the company’s European brands.
Looking at advance cruise bookings for fiscal 2007, Arison said that the trends noted during the latter part of 2006 have largely continued through the first half of 2007. Bookings for our European cruise brands continue to be strong. Bookings for our North American cruise brands when they sail outside of the Caribbean also continue to be strong, while pricing in the Caribbean is still under pressure. Arison also noted that the strength of the upcoming wave season will have a significant effect on 2007 revenue yields.
For the first quarter of 2007, the company expects net revenue yields to be flat to up slightly (down approximately 2 percent on a constant dollar basis), compared to last year. Net cruise costs per ALBD in the first quarter of 2007 are expected to increase between 2 to 3 percent (flat on a constant dollar basis), compared to 2006. Based on these estimates, the company expects that diluted earnings per share for the first quarter of 2007 will be in the range of $0.33 to $0.35, compared to $0.31 in the first quarter of 2006.
Based on current internal forecasts, the company expects that net revenue yields for the full year 2007 will increase approximately 1 to 2 percent (flat to down slightly on a constant dollar basis), compared to last year. Net cruise costs per ALBD for 2007 are expected to increase approximately 2 percent (flat on a constant dollar basis), compared to 2006. The company’s cost guidance for fuel is based on the current forward curve for all of 2007 of $339 per metric ton, which is slightly higher than the average price for 2006. The company’s guidance is also based on currency exchange rates of $1.33 to the euro and $1.98 to sterling versus the weighted average rates of $1.26 and $1.83 in 2006. Based on these estimates, the company expects that diluted earnings per share in 2007 will be in the range of $2.90 to $3.10.
Carnival has scheduled a conference call with analysts at 10:00 a.m. EST (15.00 London time) today to discuss its 2006 fourth quarter and full year earnings. This call can be listened to live, and additional information can be obtained, via Carnival Corporation & plc’s Web site at www.carnivalcorp.com and www.carnivalplc.com.
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn Cruise Line, Windstar Cruises, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises, Swan Hellenic, and P&O Cruises Australia.
Together, these brands operate 81 ships totaling 144,000 lower berths with 19 new ships scheduled to enter service between March 2007 and summer 2010. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates the leading tour companies in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon, Holland America Tours and Princess Tours. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.
Carnival Corporation’s Liquid Yield Option Notes due 2021 and Carnival Corporation’s 2% Convertible Senior Debentures due 2021 are convertible in accordance with their terms through February 28, 2007.