Princess Cruises parent Carnival earnings climb

A Princess Cruise ship. Facebook photo.

Carnival Corp. & plc, parent of Valencia-based Princess Cruises and nine other cruise lines, had its most profitable year ever in fiscal 2016. The company had net income of $2.8 billion for the year ended Nov. 30, up from $1.8 billion a year earlier, the company reported yesterday. Revenues for the full year 2016 were $16.4 billion, up from $15.7 billion in the prior year.

The Miami-based company, the world’s largest cruise operator, reported net income of 83 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to 67 cents per share, outpacing the average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research, 58 cents per share.

“We achieved the most profitable year in our company’s history as well as record fourth quarter earnings,” said Carnival President and CEO Arnold Donald. “This continued strong performance is a credit to the outstanding contributions of our 120,000 employees worldwide who work every day to exceed our guests’ expectations and our thousands of travel agent partners around the globe whose support is crucial to our success.”

He credited the company’s third consecutive year of significantly higher earnings and return on invested capital on efforts to keep consumer demand growing faster than the company adds capacity, cost cutting, and economies of scale.

Three new original TV series created by Carnival Corp. began airing on Saturday mornings in October on ABC, NBC and the CW. They showcase all 10 of the company’s cruise brands while highlighting ocean travel.

Two shows, “Ocean Treks with Jeff Corwin” on ABC and “The Voyager with Josh Garcia” on NBC, focus on port activities. “Vacation Creation,” hosted on The CW by comedian Tommy Davidson and YouTube celebrity Andrea Feczko, gives cruise vacations to families going through hard times.

Highlights during the fourth quarter included the U.S. debut of Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista, and Holland America’s Koningsdam, while Seabourn took delivery of Seabourn Encore. During the quarter, the company signed an agreement with Meyer Werft, a major shipbuilder in Papenburg, Germany, for three new 180,000-ton cruise ships that will be powered by liquefied natural gas, bringing to seven the number of LNG-powered ships on order.

Two of the ships are for Carnival Cruise Line and are scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2022. The third ship is designated for P&O Cruises (UK) and is scheduled for delivery in 2020.

Carnival operates 100 ships and has 120,000 employees. Its stock is traded on the New York and London stock exchanges. Its U.S.-based brands include Carnival, Princess, Holland America Line, Seabourn, and Fathom. Overseas, it owns Costa, AIDA, P&O Cruises (U.K.), P&O Cruises (Australia), and Cunard, which has its U.S. base in Valencia.

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