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Carnival Corporation & plc interims firm as demand growth outpaced supply expansion

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, has reported a rise in both net and operating results for the second quarter and first half of its financial year on strong demand.

Group net profit rose to $561 million in three months to 31 May from $379 million in the same period year on, while operating result (EBIT) rose to $559 million from $500 million. Revenues rose to $4.36 billion from $3.95 billion.

In the first six months of its financial year, Carnival reported a rise in net profit to $961 million from $730 million and in EBIT to $978 million from $868 million. Revenues increased to $8.56 billion from $7.74 billion.

Arnold Donald, President and Chief Executive Officer said in a statement: "We delivered another strong quarter, again achieving record adjusted earnings on record revenues and exceeding the high end of our guidance range. Strong operational execution drove a 30% increase in adjusted earnings affirming the strength of our core strategy to create demand that outpaces measured capacity growth through outstanding guest experience efforts coupled with innovative actions to increase consideration for cruising across all global markets."

Adjusted net income excludes unrealized gains and losses on fuel derivatives and other net charges, totaling $72 million in net gains for the second quarter of 2018 and $1 million in net gains for the second quarter of 2017

Key information for the second quarter of 2018 compared to the second quarter of 2017:

Gross revenue yields (revenue per available lower berth day or "ALBD") increased 8.8 percent. In constant currency, net revenue yields increased 4.8 percent exceeding March guidance of up 2.5 to 3.5 percent.

Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD increased 8.2 percent. In constant currency, net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 3.6 percent, better than March guidance of up 4.0 to 5.0 percent, principally due to the timing of expenses between quarters.

Changes in fuel prices (including realized fuel derivatives) and currency exchange rates increased earnings by $0.01 per share.

Highlights from the second quarter include the delivery of Carnival Cruise Line's 26th ship in its fleet, Carnival Horizon in March 2018. Additionally, in April 2018 Seabourn took delivery of the 5th all-suite ship in its ultra luxury fleet, Seabourn Ovation.

As a result of the strong guest response to sailings to Cuba, Carnival Cruise Line received approval for more than 20 additional calls, bringing the total to 40 calls to Cuba in 2019, departing from home-ports in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Charleston. Also during the quarter, Carnival Cruise Line unveiled the largest, most technologically advanced operations center in the cruise industry. Carnival Corporation & plc increased its quarterly dividend from $0.45 to $0.50 and replenished the share repurchase program to $1 billion.

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