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Carnival third quarter EPS of $1.69 exceeds forecast

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc reported net income of $1.3 billion, or $1.69 diluted EPS, on revenues of $5.1 billion for its third quarter ended August 31, 2011. Net income for the third quarter of 2010 was $1.3 billion, or $1.62 diluted EPS, on revenues of $4.5 billion.

Analysts had on average  forecast EPS of $1.62. 

Carnival Corporation & plc Chairman and CEO Micky Arison noted that earnings were better than anticipated in the company's June guidance due to the combination of higher than expected revenue yields and lower than expected costs in the third quarter. 

Commenting on the third quarter, Arison said, "Cruise ticket prices for our peak summer season remained strong close to sailing driving a 2.6 percent yield improvement (constant dollars). Our North American brands performed well, achieving an almost six percent yield increase, while our European, Australian and Asian brand yields fell two percent (constant dollars) due primarily to the geo-political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. Higher revenue yields helped offset a 45 percent increase in fuel prices, leading to improved quarterly profits."

Key metrics for the third quarter 2011 compared to the prior year were as follows: Third quarter results included a charge of $0.02 per share related to the sale of Costa Marina, which was not anticipated in the company's June guidance.

On a constant dollar basis net revenue yields (net revenue per available lower berth day-"ALBD") increased 2.6 percent for 3Q 2011, which was better than the company's June guidance, up 1.0 to 2.0 percent. Net revenue yields in current dollars increased 7.2 percent due, in part, to favorable currency exchange rates. Gross revenue yields increased 6.8 percent in current dollars.

Net cruise costs excluding the Costa Marina charge and fuel per ALBD increased 1.9 percent in constant dollars, and was better than June guidance, up 2.5 to 3.5 percent, partly due to the timing of expenses. Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD in current dollars increased 11.7 percent.

Fuel prices increased 45 percent to $686 per metric ton for 3Q 2011 from $473 per metric ton in 3Q 2010 and was higher than June guidance of $670 per metric ton.

Continuing with its strategic growth initiatives, during the third quarter the company announced it had reached agreements for the construction of three new cruise ships - one 132,500-ton vessel for its Costa Cruises brand and two 125,000-ton ships for its AIDA Cruises brand. The ships will be the largest ever constructed for these two cruise lines.

Carnival Corp & plc expected to report EPS of $1.62 for third quarter

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest cruise shipping group, is forecast to re[ort earnings per share (EPS) of $1.62 for the third quarter of its financial year. The company, which is listed in London and New York, will publish its third quarter figures at 3pm UK time.

Cruise industry analysts’ earnings forecasts, posted on the company’s website, range from $1.58 to $1.65. In the corresponding quarter last year, Carnival recorded EPS of $1.62. However, some observers note that a weak Mediterranean business, hampered by unrest in the region, may have hurt the company’s performance this time.

Windstar Cruises launches multi-million dollar fleet refurbishment plan

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Windstar Cruises, which operates a fleet of three luxury sailing yachts that explore hidden harbors and secluded coves of the world’s most treasured destinations, is launching a multi-million dollar fleet refurbishment plan to be completed in multiple phases beginning this fall.

Total investment for the refurbishment is $18 million and it is one of several major projects within Windstar’s “Full Sail Ahead” strategic initiative encompassing refurbishment, branding, technology investments and product upgrades over the next 18 months. 

“This is a significant investment in our luxurious sailing yachts and will enable us to provide an unparalleled guest experience,” said Hans Birkholz, President and CEO of Windstar Cruises. “Our new owners, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, are committed to Windstar’s growth for the long term. Previously, there have been enhancements and refurbishment projects throughout the years to keep our yachts beautiful; however this is the most extensive fleet-wide refurbishment project in Windstar’s history.”

Work begins this November on the first phase of Wind Surf’s refurbishment, emerging December 10, 2011, for the start of the Caribbean season, with renovated and luxurious staterooms, suites, bridge suites, corridors, and a ‘timber boardwalk’ throughout the main deck in keeping with her elegant yacht style. The second phase of Wind Surf’s refurbishment will take place in the fall of 2012 and focuses on the yacht’s public spaces including the Lounge, The Restaurant, Degrees, Veranda, Compass Rose, WindSpa, Yacht Club and Pool Bar.

Wind Star and Wind Spirit will undergo complete refurbishments of staterooms, owner’s suite, and corridors along with public spaces including The Restaurant, Veranda, Lounge, WindSpa, Library, Reception, and Pool Bar following their respective Costa Rica and Caribbean seasons. After the completion of work, both yachts begin their Mediterranean seasons with Wind Spirit starting April 15, 2012, and Wind Star beginning April 29, 2012.

The vision for the refurbishment is classic, stylish yacht luxury that dramatizes Windstar’s brand position of a “boutique yacht vacation” that is “180 Degrees from Ordinary.” The yachts will receive new furniture, upholstery, art, lighting, wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, window treatments, and floor coverings. New furnishings will complete the look in keeping with the chic, private yacht scheme. The design palette combines sand and marine colors contrasting elegantly with the warmth of wood finishes, elevating the look and feel to ultimate luxury at sea.

Windstar’s chosen design and build partner for the project is U.K. based Trimline Interiors incorporating MCVITTY Interior Consultants. Trimline is a refurbishment company well known to the industry specializing in cruise ship and superyacht “turn-key” interiors and has completed projects all over the world for many leading luxury cruise lines and yacht owners. Established in 1965, Trimline has its own in-house services including joinery, soft furnishings, upholstery, decoration and all types of flooring.

Alan McVitty, lead designer and director of MCVITTY Interior Consultants, has a career that spans 24 years in the interiors sector. McVitty’s areas of expertise include both leisure and residential assignments along with projects for luxury cruise lines and private yachts. 

“Our focus was to provide Windstar with something completely different from what currently exists in the luxury cruise market,” said McVitty. “Every corner of our design was carefully confectioned with details and solutions to make guests find themselves not on another commercial cruise but experience a stylish, floating boutique yacht created with a vision to offer a uniquely different, cruise experience.” 

Staterooms and Suites:

Staterooms on all three yachts will be transformed with new leather headboards, stately arm chairs, linen wall coverings, new lighting features, elegant window coverings, plush wool carpeting, art work, stylish bed cushions, and luxurious bed throws. Suites will additionally be outfitted with new furniture that is easily convertible to lounging, dining, or accommodating a third occupant.

Wind Surf Public Spaces:

The Restaurant will be completed with a new seating layout, all new soft goods, and state-of-the art wine display and storage. Degrees Restaurant will be transformed into a Mediterranean bistro, anchored by a central wine bar for counter dining as well as an inviting area to relax before and after dinner. Wine tastings and cooking demonstrations will also be conducted here. The Compass Rose will be reconfigured to open up expansively to the adjoining outdoor deck, and its interior completely renovated to reflect the sophisticated elegance of a private club.

The Veranda’s outdoor seating will be significantly expanded, creating an ideal mid-ship area for enjoying breakfast and lunch alfresco. The interior will include a new buffet, new lighting, and epicurean style display counters. In the Lounge, wall-to-wall carpeting will be replaced with hard flooring accented with inset rugs, a contemporary mix of furniture, lighter color palette and improved sound insulation around the casino.

Corridors will be completely renovated from floor to ceiling with all new wall coverings, carpeting, ceiling finishes, lighting and art work. The Pool Bar will sport new awnings for additional shade, new deck furniture, and improved outdoor dining layout for Candles Grill.

Wind Spirit and Wind Star Public Spaces:

The Restaurant will receive a complete makeover to create the excitement and drama of an exclusive destination restaurant with luxurious neutral tones and curved design elements.

The Veranda will be renewed with new lighting, fresh “market-style” buffet arrangements and reconfigured indoor/outdoor seating.

The Lounge will be contemporized with new furniture, soft goods, seating arrangements, window treatments and AV system, creating an ideal, welcoming space for evening entertainment.

The Pool Bar will be redesigned to offer a more engaging and upscale social experience and to create additional alfresco seating for sunset dining at Candles Grill.

The renovations to the Library space will create an intimate, luxurious cocoon for more contemplative pursuits.

WindSpa will also receive an interior soft goods update, to reflect the sophistication and elegance of relaxing with spa treatments at sea.

“The refurbishment will give Windstar clients a truly stunning and unique experience to explore destinations in perfect splendor, ultra luxury and comfort,” said McVitty.

Refurbishment updates and behind-the-scenes coverage will be provided throughout the duration of the project on Windstar’s blog: HYPERLINK "http://blog.windstarcruises.com/" blog.windstarcruises.com.

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