Carnival to sell 13 ships; seeing demand for 2021 bookings

Fri, 10th Jul 2020

Cruise company Carnival said it was continuing to see demand for new bookings for 2021, despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and reduced spending on marketing. The company also said it planned to jettison 13 ships from its fleet. In the first three weeks of June, almost 60% of 2021 bookings were new bookings, the company said. The remainder were customers applying future cruise credits offered for previously cancelled bookings. Carnival said that as of 21 June, around half of guests affected by cancellations had requested cash refunds. As of the same date, cumulative advanced bookings for the full year of 2021 capacity currently available for sale remained within historical ranges. But the bookings were being made at prices 'down in the low to mid-single digits range', on a comparable basis, including the negative yield impact of travel credits. Carnival also said it had reduced capacity, via ship delivery deferrals and the 13 expected ship sales. The company sold one ship in June and had agreements for the disposal of five and preliminary agreements for an additional three, all of which were expected to leave the fleet in the next 90 days. Those agreements were in addition to the sale of four ships, which were announced prior to fiscal 2020. The total of 13 ships leaving the fleet represented about 9% of current capacity. Carnival said it expected only five of the nine ships originally scheduled for delivery in fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021 to be delivered prior to the end of fiscal year 2021. It also expected later deliveries of ships originally scheduled for fiscal 2022 and 2023. As previously announced, the company's German division, AIDA, would be the first of its nine brands to relaunch cruises, beginning in August. 'We have been transitioning the fleet into a prolonged pause and right sizing our shoreside operations,' chief executive Arnold Donald said. 'We have already reduced operating costs by over $7bn on an annualized basis and reduced capital expenditures also by more than $5bn over the next 18 months.' 'We have secured over $10bn of additional liquidity to sustain another full year with additional flexibility remaining.' 'We have aggressively shed assets while actively deferring new ship deliveries.' 'We are working hard to resume operations while serving the best interests of public health with our way forward informed through consultation with medical experts and scientists from around the world.' At 3:15pm: (LON:CCL) Carnival PLC share price was +17p at 961p Story provided by StockMarketWire.com

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