Economic downturn predicted to pinch cruise line profits
The world's largest cruise line company Carnival Corporation on Thursday cut its profit outlook for the year as the economic downturn cuts into the budgets of holiday travellers, dpa reported.
For the 2008-09 business year, the company lowered its outlook to 2.25 to 2.75 dollars per share from an early 2.50-to-3-dollar prediction.
Still, lower fuel costs kept Carnival in the black during the most recent quarter. The operator of cruise lines Carnival, Princess, Cunard, Aida, Holland America and Seabourn said profits rose 4 per cent to 371 million dollars in the final quarter of the current fiscal year. Revenue rose 6 per cent to 3.3 billion dollars.
Profit fell 3 per cent to 2.3 billion dollars for the year as record oil prices limited earnings for much of the year, despite a 12 per cent revenue increase to 14.6 billion dollars.
The sale of the iconic ship Queen Elizabeth 2 alone accounted for 31 million dollars in profit. The giant ship was taken to Dubai in November where it is to be transformed in a floating hotel.
In the fourth quarter, Carnival counted 2 million passengers, 6 per cent more than a year earlier. It operates 88 ships with 169,000 beds and is to unveil 17 new ships by mid-2012.