Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise ship company, posted a record $2.8 billion profit for its full fiscal year 2016 as the company looks towards another solid year for the cruise industry in 2017.
Carnival Corp. reported the record full year and fourth quarter earnings Tuesday. Carnival announced net income for the full year 2016 of $2.8 billion, or $3.72 diluted EPS, compared to $1.8 billion, or $2.26 diluted EPS, for the prior year.
Carnival Corp. said revenues for the full year 2016 were $16.4 billion, $700 million higher than the $15.7 billion in the prior year.
“We achieved the most profitable year in our company’s history as well as record fourth quarter earnings,” said Carnival Corporation & plc President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald. “The continued execution of our core strategy to drive consumer demand in excess of measured capacity growth, contain costs and leverage our industry-leading scale resulted in our third consecutive year of significantly higher earnings and return on invested capital. The delivery of over $5 billion in cash from operations for our shareholders enabled increased dividend distributions reaching $1 billion and the investment of over $2.3 billion in the repurchase of Carnival Corporation stock.”
Highlights from the fourth quarter 2016 included the U.S. debut of Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Vista. Holland America’s Koningsdam also made its North American debut in November while Seabourn took delivery of ultra-luxury cruise ship Seabourn Encore.
During the quarter, Carnival Corp. also signed a memorandum of agreement with Meyer Werft for three new 180,000-ton cruise ships that will be powered by liquefied natural gas, the world’s cleanest burning fossil fuel. Two of the ships are for Carnival Cruise Line and are scheduled for delivery in 2020 and 2022. The third ship is designated for P&O Cruises (UK) and is scheduled for delivery in 2020. The company also signed an agreement with Shell to begin fueling its LNG-powered ships, starting with AIDA and Costa ships scheduled to launch in 2019.
Looking ahead, Carnival said it expects another solid year in 2017, forecasting adjusted earnings per share to be in the range of $3.30 to $3.60, compared to 2016 adjusted earnings per share of $3.45 in 2017.
“We are anticipating another solid year of operational improvement in 2017. Despite the unusual and significant impact of fuel and currency working against us simultaneously, the underlying strength in our fundamental business leaves us well positioned to achieve sustained double digit return on invested capital and to create continued value for our shareholders,” Donald added.