carn.jpegLower fuel prices – down 45 per cent – and cost-cutting on the operations side helped the Carnival Corporation, biggest cruise company in the world, to a 10 per cent increase in profits in the first quarter. Income from cruise fares and on-board spending were $2.9 billion, compared to $3.1 billion in 2008. Costs, which include wages, fuel and food, were $2.5 billion, compared with $2.8 billion.
Chairman Micky Arison confirmed that prices were being cut to attract customers when he said: “Considering the economic climate, achieving higher quarterly net income is quite remarkable. Our brands have responded with a variety of pricing initiatives designed to provide our guests with the most value for their vacation dollars.
“Though pricing is down significantly, we continue to fill our ships by reaching people who might not have otherwise considered a cruise vacation.”
Carnival owns Cunard, Princess, P&O, Holland America and the Yachts of Seabourn. The total number of passengers carried during the three months to the end of February was down on 2008. This year’s figures are 1,860,000, compared with 1,910,000.