The Carnival Corporation & plc provided a first quarter 2023 business update on Monday, beating estimates for revenue.
Carnival posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly adjusted net loss of $690 million, which was lower than the December guidance range of $750 to $850 million to start the year. The cruise line said the resilient demand for leisure travel, higher ticket prices and strong onboard spending helped its bottom line in the first quarter.
Adjusted EBITDA was $382 million, which also exceeded predictions of between $250 million and $350 million, despite a $31 million unfavorable impact from fuel price and currency rates since December.
Carnival continues to close the gap to a strong 2019, with revenue reaching $4.4 billion, representing 95 percent of pre-pandemic totals. The first quarter also exceeded the fourth quarter of 2022 totals by 15 percent.
Occupancy in the first quarter of 2023 was 91 percent and increased by seven percent compared to the prior quarter. Total customer deposits reached a first-quarter record of $5.7 billion, surpassing the previous record of $4.9 billion by 16 percent.
“We are well booked for the remainder of the year at higher prices (normalized for FCCs), which coupled with continued strength in onboard revenue, supports our improving outlook for the remainder of the year,” Carnival Corporation Chief Executive Officer Josh Weinstein said.
“We expect the extension of booking lead times, combined with our investment in advertising, to position us even better in 2024 and beyond,” Weinstein continued.
As for bookings, Carnival officials said robust Black Friday and Cyber Monday volumes provided a great start to 2023, helping the company experience the highest booking volumes for all future sailings for any quarter in its history.
The cruise line’s cumulative advanced booked position for the remainder of 2023 is at higher ticket prices in constant currency, normalized for future cruise credits, as compared to strong 2019 pricing.
For the rest of 2023, the company expects adjusted EBITDA of $3.9 billion-$4.1 billion and occupancy to return to historical levels this summer, reaching around 100 percent.
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