Posts Tagged judge

Carnival sees fewer bookings, replaces its CEO

by, SCOTT MAYEROWITZ AP Business Writer

NEW YORK—Passengers remain hesitant to book cruises, despite deep discounts. But that didn’t stop Carnival Corp. from eking out a $41 million second-quarter profit thanks to lower fuel costs and the timing of some administrative expenses.

The Miami-based company also announced Tuesday that Micky Arison, who has been CEO since 1979 and is the son of Carnival co-founder Ted Arison, is being replaced by Arnold W. Donald, who has served on the company’s board for the past 12 years. Arison will continue to serve as chairman of the board.

The profit was nearly triple the $14 million the world’s largest cruise company earned during same period last year, a quarter which it suffered from steep losses on fuel prices bets known as derivatives.

Earnings totaled of 5 cents per share this quarter, up from 2 cents a share last year at this time. Revenue fell 1.7 percent to $3.48 billion.

Excluding one-time items, Carnival’s earnings were 9 cents per share. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $3.56 billion.

Shares of Carnival rose $1.67, or 5 percent, to close at $34.89 Tuesday.

Arison led the company through an aggressive expansion that included the acquisition of several brands, including Holland America, Costa Cruises, Cunard and Seabourn. In 2003, he oversaw a merger between Carnival Corp. and P&O Princess Cruises. Today, Carnival runs cruises under 10 brands.

However, Arison came under fire during Carnival’s bad publicity earlier in the year when a string of its cruise ships suffered through mechanical problems and fires. The most dramatic of them was the Carnival Triumph where passengers were stranded at sea for five days as toilets backed up and air conditioners failed. There were media reports of raw sewage seeping through walls and carpets.

Arison, who also owns the Miami Heat basketball team, took some heat of his own for attending a game while the crisis was ongoing.

Donald founded and led Merisant, a company whose products include sweetener brands Equal and Canderel. He also held multiple senior management roles at Monsanto over the course of 20-plus years, including president of the company’s consumer and nutrition sector and president of its agricultural sector.

The Triumph nightmare was followed up with problems on three other Carnival ships: The Elation, Dream and Legend—all which made big headlines.

None of that helped restore confidence in vacationers who are still wary after the January 2012 sinking of the Costa Concordia, also owned by Carnival.

In its earnings release Tuesday, Carnival said that advance bookings for the rest of 2013 are running behind last year’s levels, even at lower prices. Bookings on its namesake Carnival line are particularly weak.

Arison said in a statement that Carnival is working to market the “truly exceptional vacation values” that cruises offer through travel agents and other industry partners.

“We believe these initiatives, combined with slower supply growth, will lead to increased yields,” he said. “In addition, we remain focused on reducing our fuel dependence. By year end, we will achieve a 23 percent cumulative reduction in fuel consumption since 2005 and expect our research and development efforts in fuel saving technologies to continue to bear fruit.”

Those fuel-savings efforts seem to be paying off. In the quarter that ended May 31, the company saw a 14-percent drop in its fuel bill. The company spent $555 million on fuel, down from $645 million during the same quarter last year. Cruise companies, airlines and other large consumers of fuel typically make bets, called derivatives, on the price of oil to hedge again any sudden spikes. Last year, Carnival lost $145 million in the second quarter on such bets. This year, that loss was narrowed to $31 million.

During the second quarter, the company took delivery of Princess Cruises’ 3,560-passenger Royal Princess, the first of a new class of ships for Princess. Additionally, Carnival Sunshine entered service in May following a $155 million modernization.

Read more: Carnival sees fewer bookings, replaces its CEO – The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_23533852/carnival-sees-fewer-bookings-posts-41m-profit#ixzz2XLcXtNlQ
Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content: http://www.denverpost.com/termsofuse
Follow us: @Denverpost on Twitter | Denverpost on Facebook

 

New posts to the Venice and Key West pages

The cruise industry does not just affect Charleston! We recently updated the Venice and Key West sub-pages with new information!

Please check them out: VENICE and KEY WEST

Almost 4 years on, SC cruise plan still in court

By BRUCE SMITH
The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. — It’s been almost four years since the South Carolina Ports Authority announced plans to build a new $35 million cruise terminal in downtown Charleston. Under the original schedule, that terminal would be open now. Instead, questions about the terminal and the city’s year-round cruise industry raised by environmental and neighborhood groups have ended up in court.

Lawsuits are in state and federal court, and an administrative law judge in January will hear concerns about a permit issued by state regulators for the terminal at the site of an existing warehouse. Final resolution won’t come until next year at the earliest.

According to court schedules:

— The state Supreme Court has given attorneys until July 8 to file briefs on whether cruises constitute a public nuisance and violate city zoning ordinances. This is in a state case the court agreed to hear without it first going through lower courts. The Preservation Society of Charleston, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League and neighborhood groups have sued Carnival Cruise Lines seeking to block cruise operations and have the court declare it illegal to build the terminal.

— A November trial date has tentatively been set in federal court for a lawsuit brought by the Conservation League and the Preservation Society against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the case, moved from Washington, D.C. last year, the plaintiffs seek to invalidate a Corps permit saying more federal review of the terminal’s effect on the city’s historic district is needed.

— Chief South Carolina Administrative Law Judge Ralph Anderson has set a Jan. 27 date to hear a challenge of a Department of Health and Environmental Control permit allowing five pilings to be drilled for the project. Regulators have said putting in pilings is in line with what has been going on along the waterfront for centuries. Any decision by the court can then be appealed to state court.

Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the Ports Authority, all three cases raise important issues that need to be resolved not just for the cruise industry, but for the operation of the port in general.

“We’re not in a rush,” he said. “We will see these things through in a proper way.”

The dispute over the terminal and the city’s expanded cruise industry has been raging for several years. Three years ago, Carnival Cruise Lines permanently based its 2,056-passenger liner Fantasy in Charleston, giving the city a year-round cruise industry. Before that, cruise lines made port calls at Charleston, but no ships were based in the city.

Opponents say the added tourists, traffic congestion and smoke from the cruise liners are destroying the historic fabric of the city. The city and Ports Authority say the industry is being managed properly and cruises will never be more than a niche industry in Charleston.

Blan Holman, an attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, says it’s about balance between cruise operations and protecting the city’s historic character, upon which tourism and the cruise industry depend.

“We are hopeful that the city of Charleston will agree it has the power, and the responsibility, to oversee a cruise operation based in Charleston,” he said in a statement. “The city of Charleston has exerted its authority to safeguard the harbor and surrounding community for hundreds of years.”

Newsome is optimistic the issues will be resolved and the terminal project will go forward.

“We are going to build a new cruise terminal at the northern end of Union Pier, and we are going to keep a modest-size cruise industry as we have said all along,” he said.

Copyright The Associated Press

 

click here to see the link: http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/transportation/almost-4-years-on-sc-cruise-plan-still-in-court/nYR96/