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Carnival says next year bookings ahead of prior year at higher prices

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s ;atgest cruise shipping group, said its cumulative advance bookings for full year 2018 are ahead of the prior year at higher prices at this time. Since November, booking volumes for 2018 have been running well ahead of the prior year at higher prices.

The company expects full year 2018 adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $4.00 to $4.30, compared to 2017 adjusted earnings per share of $3.82.

President and CEO Arnold Donald commented: "Despite booking disruptions from this year's multiple hurricanes, we are still heading into 2018 with a stronger base of business and higher prices than last year.”

“We have numerous efforts underway to keep the momentum going in 2018 and beyond, from our innovative approaches to increase consideration for cruising, including our recently announced partnership with Univision, to the further roll-out of our state-of-the-art revenue management system. In 2018 we also look forward to the delivery of four new cutting-edge ships, Carnival Horizon, Seabourn Ovation, AIDAnova, and Nieuw Statendam to further our strategic fleet enhancement program."

Based on current booking trends, the company expects full year 2018 net revenue yields in constant currency to be up approximately 2.5% compared to the prior year. The company expects full year net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD in constant currency to be up approximately 1.0% compared to the prior year.

As a result of higher fuel prices, forecasted fuel costs for the full year 2018 are expected to increase approximately $117 million compared to the prior year, net of realized fuel derivatives, reducing earnings by $0.16 per share. This is partially offset by favorable movements in currency exchange rates, which are forecasted to increase earnings by $0.08 per share.

Donald added, "We remain on track to achieve double digit return on invested capital in 2018. We are committed to the continued distribution of cash to shareholders through increasing dividends, currently totaling $1.3 billion annually, and ongoing share repurchases, which have exceeded $3 billion since late 2015."

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