MIAMI -- Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, the world’s second-largest cruise operator, reported a lower first-quarter profit and cut its full-year forecast, citing higher fuel costs and the bargains it has had to offer to make up for a slowdown in bookings.
Royal Caribbean, whose lines include its namesake and Celebrity Cruises, said on Friday it now expects 2012 earnings per share of $1.80 to $2.10, compared with an earlier forecast of $1.90 to $2.30.
Royal Caribbean, which has faced slower business after the Costa Concordia shipwreck of its larger competitor Carnival Corp & Plc in January, said overall booking volumes since February, when it last gave a forecast, were down by a mid-single-digit percentage. The cruise operator has lowered prices to address that reduction in business.
But the company in a statement said that booking activity is “gradually” improving and that the effects of the Costa Concordia tragedy are “waning.”
Royal Caribbean earned net income of $47 million or 21 cents per share on revenue of $1.83 billion for the first quarter, compared with $78.4 million or 36 cents per share on revenue of $1.67 billion a year earlier.
On Jan. 13, the Costa Concordia, a liner operated by the Costa Cruises unit of rival Carnival, hit a reef just off an Italian island and capsized, killing or hurting dozens.
Royal Caribbean shares were down 2 percent in premarket trading.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.