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Another $2bn quarterly loss but Carnival bookings are way up, cruises resuming

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Carnival Corp. & plc posted another $2bn quarterly loss but liquidity remains strong, cash burn in check and bookings are up.

US GAAP net loss was $2.1bn, or $1.83 per share, and adjusted net loss $2bn, or $1.80 per share, for the second quarter. Revenues were $50m.

Booking volumes 45% higher than in Q1

Booking volumes for future cruises during Q2 were 45% higher than those during Q1. Cumulative advance bookings for full year 2022 were ahead of a very strong 2019 as of May 31. This was achieved with minimal advertising and marketing.

Customer deposits exceed refunds

Total customer deposits at May 31 and Feb. 28 were $2.5bn and $2.2bn, respectively. During the quarter, customer deposits for new bookings exceeded the impact of refunds provided.

Cash burn lower than forecast

Cash burn rate in the first half of 2021 was better than forecast primarily due to the timing of proceeds from ship sales and working capital changes.

Monthly average cash burn rate during the first six months was $500m, less than the $550m projected. This includes revenues earned on voyages, ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, restart spend, working capital changes (excluding changes in customer deposits), interest expense and capital expenditures (net of export credit facilities). It excludes scheduled debt maturities as well as other cash collateral to be provided.

As cruise operations ramp up, Carnival expects to incur incremental spending related to bringing ships out of pause status, crewing up and implementing enhanced health and safety protocols.

52% of capacity announced to sail by fiscal year-end

Forty-two ships from eight of the company's nine brands and 91 ships either have resumed or are announced to resume by Nov. 30, which accounts for 52% of the company's capacity, with more announcements expected in the coming weeks. The only brand not announced to sail yet is P&O Cruises Australia.

27 ships by end of Q3

Twenty-seven ships, or approximately 35% of capacity, have resumed or are announced to resume by the end of Q3 and an additional 15 ships, or nearly 20% of capacity, are announced to resume by the end of Q4.

Liquidity

The quarter ended with $9.3bn of cash and short-term investments, which the company believes is sufficient liquidity to return to full cruise operations.

Carnival repriced its first-priority senior secured term loan facility, reducing its future annual interest expense by over $120m per year and has approval in principle from the relevant export credit agencies to defer approximately $1bn of principal payments, increasing near term liquidity. These transactions are expected to close during Q3, and the company continues to focus on pursuing additional refinancing opportunities to reduce interest rates and extend maturities.

'Significant latent demand for new sailings this summer'

'Despite our minimal advertising spend, we continue to experience an acceleration in booking trends globally, including capturing significant latent demand for our new sailings this summer,' said Arnold Donald, president and CEO, Carnival Corp. & plc. 'This strong demand affirms confidence in our future. In addition, customer deposits grew this past quarter, a significant milestone on our path to resumption.'

He continued: 'With the aggressive actions we have already taken to optimize our portfolio and reduce capacity, we believe we are well positioned to capitalize on pent-up demand and to emerge a leaner more efficient company, reinforcing our global industry-leading position.'

See also 'Carnival sees full fleet sailing "well before" 2022 peak summer season'

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