TOP NEWS: Carnival shares rise as second quarter loss narrows

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Carnival PLC on Friday reported a narrowed loss in the second quarter, thanks to surging revenue with passengers now back allowed on cruise ships, but still expects to report a loss in the third quarter.

Shares in Carnival were trading 9.1% higher in London on Friday afternoon at 760.00 pence each, and has advanced 8.3% in New York to $10.45.

In the three months to March 31, the Miami, Florida-headquartered cruise operator recorded a net loss of $1.83 billion, narrowed from the $2.07 billion loss seen in the same period the year before.

Total revenue in the second quarter hiked sharply to $2.40 billion from $50 million, as Passenger Ticket revenue improved to $1.29 billion from $20 million and Onboard revenue increased to $1.12 billion from $29 million.

Carnival explained this improvement can be demonstrated from its booking volumes for all future sailings during the second quarter were nearly double the booking volumes during the first quarter of 2022.

‘The company notes these were its best quarterly booking volumes since the beginning of the pandemic, albeit still below 2019 levels. Booking volumes for the second half of 2022 sailings, since the beginning of April, have been higher than 2019 levels. The company believes this is a reflection of the previously expected extended wave season,’ it added.

Available lower berth days for the second quarter of 2022 were 16.7 million, which represents 74% of total fleet capacity, increasing from 60% in the first quarter of 2022.

President and Chief Executive Arnold Donald said: ‘We are aggressively, yet thoughtfully, ramping up to full operations with over 90% of the fleet now in service.

‘We are driving occupancy higher, while at the same time significantly increasing available capacity, resulting in a nearly 50% sequential improvement in revenue in the second quarter, despite facing constantly changing and far more restrictive protocols than broader society and travel at large.’

Total operating costs & expenses increased to $3.87 billion from $1.67 billion the year prior.

In the first half, Carnival's net loss narrowed to $3.73 billion from $4.05 billion, while revenue jumped to $4.02 billion from $75 million.

Cumulative advance bookings for the second half are below historical range, the cruise line said.

Looking to the third quarter, it still expects to report a loss in the third quarter, and for the full year.

‘The company continues to believe that adjusted Ebitda will improve with the ongoing resumption of guest cruise operations and continues to expect improvement in occupancy throughout 2022 until it returns to historical levels in 2023. The company expects positive adjusted Ebitda for the third quarter of 2022,’ it added.

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