Carnival Reports 2024 Q2 Earnings; Raises Guidance

Carnival Ship

Carnival Corporation announced financial results for the second quarter 2024 and provided an updated outlook for the full year and an outlook for third quarter 2024.

Highlights:

  • Second quarter net income improved by nearly $500 million compared to 2023 and adjusted net income outperformed March guidance by nearly $170 million (see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below).
  • Record second quarter operating income of $560 million, nearly five times 2023 levels, on record second quarter revenues of $5.8 billion.
  • Raised full year 2024 net yield guidance (in constant currency) to approximately 10.25 percent on continued strong demand and raised full year adjusted net income guidance by approximately $275 million.
  • Cumulative booked position for the remainder of 2024 continues to be the best on record in both price (in constant currency) and occupancy.
  • While early, cumulative booked position for full year 2025 is even higher than 2024 in both price (in constant currency) and occupancy.
  • Total customer deposits reached an all-time high of $8.3 billion, surpassing the previous record by $1.1 billion.

 

“We have made incredible strides in improving our commercial operations, strategically reallocating our portfolio composition and formulating growth plans, while strengthening even further our global team, the best in the business. Off the back of that effort, we closed yet another quarter delivering records, this time across revenues, operating income, customer deposits and booking levels, exceeding our guidance on every measure,” commented Carnival Corporation & plc’s Chief Executive Officer Josh Weinstein.

“Based on continued strong demand trends, we are taking up our expectations for the year with net yields now forecasted to top ten percent and propelling us towards double-digit returns on invested capital. On our upwardly revised guidance, we will be on average around two-thirds of the way to achieving our three 2026 SEA Change targets after just one year. With two years remaining, it certainly gives us even more conviction in achieving these deliverables,” Weinstein added.

Second Quarter 2024 Results

  • Net income was $92 million, or $0.07 diluted EPS, an increase of nearly $500 million compared to 2023. Adjusted net income of $134 million, or $0.11 adjusted EPS, outperformed March guidance by nearly $170 million, driven by higher ticket prices, higher onboard spending and the timing of expenses between quarters (see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below).
  • Record second quarter operating income of $560 million, nearly five times 2023 levels.
  • Record second quarter adjusted EBITDA of $1.2 billion, increasing over 75 percent compared to 2023 and outperforming March guidance by approximately $150 million (see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below).
  • Record second quarter revenues of $5.8 billion, with record net yields (in constant currency) and record net per diems (in constant currency) both significantly exceeding 2023 levels (see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below).
  • Gross margin yields increased by nearly 50 percent compared to 2023 and net yields (in constant currency) exceeded 2023 levels by over 12 percent.
    • Net per diems (in constant currency) were up over 6 percent compared to 2023, driven by both higher ticket prices and higher onboard spending.
  • Cruise costs per available lower berth day (“ALBD”) increased 4.0 percent compared to 2023. Adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (in constant currency) were in line with prior year and better than March guidance in part due to identified cost savings with most of the favorability driven by the timing of expenses between the quarters (see “Non-GAAP Financial Measures” below).
  • Total customer deposits reached an all-time high of $8.3 billion, surpassing the previous record by $1.1 billion ($7.2 billion as of May 31, 2023).

 

Bookings

“We are very pleased with the continued acceleration of demand for 2025 and beyond, which builds upon the fantastic achievements in 2024 thus far. This positive trajectory is a testament to the successful execution of our demand generation efforts and the delivery of exceptional vacation experiences once onboard,” Weinstein noted.

The company continues to experience strong bookings momentum driven by record booking volumes for 2025 sailings. While still early, the cumulative advanced booked position for full year 2025 is even higher than 2024 in both price (in constant currency) and occupancy.

With less inventory remaining for sale for the remainder of 2024, the company achieved considerably higher prices (in constant currency) on bookings taken during the second quarter compared to the prior year, which is aligned with the company’s yield management strategy. In fact, pricing for both its North America and Australia (“NAA”) and Europe segments is running ahead of the prior year for each of the third and fourth quarters of 2024.

Driven by the company’s efforts to elongate the booking curve and favorable pricing trends, the company’s cumulative booked position for the remainder of 2024 continues to be the best on record, with occupancy still nicely above 2023 levels at considerably higher prices (in constant currency).

2024 Outlook

For the full year 2024, the company expects:

  • Net yields (in constant currency) up approximately 10.25 percent compared to 2023, approximately 75 basis points better than March guidance, based on continued strength in demand and with occupancy at historical levels.
  • Adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (in constant currency) approximately 0.5 percentage points better than March guidance.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $5.83 billion, up nearly 40 percent compared to 2023, and better than March guidance by approximately $200 million.
  • Adjusted net income of approximately $1.55 billion, better than March guidance by approximately $275 million.
  • Adjusted return on invested capital (“ROIC”) of approximately 10 percent.

 

For the third quarter of 2024, the company expects:

  • Net yields (in constant currency) up approximately 8.0 percent compared to 2023 levels.
  • Adjusted cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD (in constant currency) up approximately 4.5 percent compared to the third quarter of 2023.
  • Adjusted EBITDA of approximately $2.66 billion, up 20 percent compared to the third quarter of 2023.
  • Adjusted net income of approximately $1.58 billion, up 35 percent compared to the third quarter of 2023.

 

Strategic Portfolio Optimization

As previously announced, the company will sunset the P&O Cruises (Australia) brand and fold the Australia operations into Carnival Cruise Line in March 2025. This realignment will further optimize the composition of the company’s global brand portfolio and will strengthen its performance in the South Pacific through numerous operational efficiencies.

This change is the latest in a series of strategic moves designed to increase guest capacity for Carnival Cruise Line, America’s cruise line and the highest-returning brand in the company’s global portfolio. This will result in the addition of nine ships to Carnival Cruise Line’s fleet since 2019, including the successful shift of three vessels from sister brand Costa Cruises. Through these strategic asset reallocations and the company’s commitment to restarting its moderate newbuild growth for its highest returning brands beginning with Carnival Cruise Line, the company will increase Carnival Cruise Line as a percentage of its portfolio from 29 percent as of 2019 to 37 percent in 2028.

Financing and Capital Activity

“Our second quarter refinancing, repricing and debt prepayment activities are all aligned with our path to investment grade as we continue to manage down debt and interest expense, while reducing the complexity of our capital structure. During the last fifteen months, we prepaid $6.6 billion of debt, which saves a significant amount of interest expense over time while reducing our secured debt by nearly 40 percent,” commented Carnival Corporation & plc’s Chief Financial Officer David Bernstein.

“Looking forward, we expect substantial free cash flow driven by our ongoing operational execution and the lowest newbuild order book in decades to deliver continued improvements in our leverage metrics and balance sheet,” Bernstein added.

The company continues its efforts to proactively manage its debt profile. Since February 29, 2024, the company has:

  • Prepaid $1.6 billion of its first-priority senior secured term loans
  • Repriced approximately $1.75 billion of its first-priority senior secured term loan facility maturing in 2028 and approximately $1.0 billion of its senior secured term loan facility maturing in 2027
  • Completed a $535 million private offering of senior unsecured notes due 2030 from which the proceeds, together with cash on hand, were used to redeem its senior unsecured notes due 2026

 

These transactions simplified the company’s capital structure and will reduce net interest expense by $55 million in 2024 and $85 million on an annualized basis.

The company ended the quarter with $4.6 billion of liquidity. As of May 31, 2024, the company’s outstanding debt maturities for the remainder of the year, 2025, and 2026 were $1.2 billion, $1.7 billion, and $2.8 billion.

The second quarter generated cash from operations of $2.0 billion and adjusted free cash flow of $1.3 billion. The company  drew down on an export credit facility, continuing its strategy to finance its newbuild program at preferential interest rates.

Other Recent Highlights

  • Completed the installation of SpaceX’s Starlink across its fleet, transforming the onboard connectivity experience and rivaling on-land connectivity.
  • Completed the fleetwide rollout of OneOcean, an environmental compliance and passage planning software, setting a new standard for journey and environmental planning.
  • Released its 14th annual sustainability report, “Sustainable from Ship to Shore,” detailing meaningful progress in its six sustainability focus areas and surpassing several sustainability goals well in advance.
  • Recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Best Employers for Diversity for 2024.
  • Carnival Corporation & plc and its AIDA Cruises brand were honored with three prestigious Environmental, Social and Governance Shipping Awards for 2024.
  • Cunard welcomed Queen Anne, the line’s first new ship in 14 years, and celebrated its phenomenal naming ceremony with legendary tenor Andrea Bocelli. In an industry first, a city, Liverpool – Cunard’s birthplace and spiritual home – was named godparent of the ship.
  • Cunard achieved record-breaking bookings following the successful launch of Queen Anne, reporting more guests booked in May than any equivalent period on record.
  • P&O Cruises (UK) generated significant wide-spread media attention as the headline sponsor of BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Television Awards for a second year in a row as part of its multi-year partnership.
  • Celebrated spectacular naming ceremonies for Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Carnival Firenze, named by Jonathan Bennett fresh off his starring on Broadway in the hit show Spamalot, and Princess Cruises’ most luxurious ship, Sun Princess, named by the great Hannah Waddington of Ted Lasso fame.
  • Holland America Line debuted “Glacier Day” on its Alaska cruises, reinforcing its commitment to providing guests with awe-inspiring glacier experiences with breathtaking sights, scenic commentary, informational viewing stations and authentic Alaskan cuisine onboard.

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