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Carnival Corp. shares business update as first ships resume sailing

CRUISE Carnival Corp. logo.jpg
Carnival Corp. & plc posted an adjusted net loss of $1.78bn in the third quarter, or $2.19 per share. Revenues sank to $31m.

The US GAAP net loss was $2.86bn, or $3.69 per share, including losses on ship sales and impairments and the settlement of outstanding derivatives.

The company's first ships are resuming service, it has $8.2bn of cash and cash equivalents on hand, and monthly average cash burn is expected to go down in Q4.

Bookings update

Bookings in the first half of 2021 'reflect expectations of the phased resumption' of operations and 'anticipated itinerary changes.' As of Sept. 20, cumulative advance bookings for the second half of 2021 are at the higher end of the historical range while pricing is lower by mid-single digits versus the second half of 2019, reflecting the effect of future cruise credits being applied.

45% take FCCs, 55% seek refunds

As of Sept. 20, approximately 45% of travelers affected by schedule changes have received enhanced FCCs and approximately 55% have requested refunds. 

Approximately 60% of bookings taken during the three weeks ended Sept. 20 were new bookings, as opposed to FCC rebookings.

Coming 'full circle'

Arnold Donald, president and CEO, said the company had come full circle from its suspension of cruises to transitioning the fleet into pause status to 'right-sizing' the organization and, now, embarking on the phased resumption of sailings with Costa in Italy and AIDA Cruises in Germany.

'We have accelerated the sale of less efficient ships, enabling us to capitalize on pent-up demand on reduced capacity and structurally lower our cost base, while retaining our most cash generating assets,' Donald continued, 'We are taking aggressive actions managing the balance sheet and reducing capacity to position us to weather this disruption and also emerge a leaner, more efficient company, reinforcing our industry leading position.'

Costa Deliziosa and Costa Diadema are sailing, with AIDA expected to resume next week.

The company is encouraged that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's no-sail order was extended by only one month, through October, the same date as the industry's end of voluntary suspension of passenger operations from the US.

'There is constant dialogue ongoing in the United States for a potential cruise restart and the company is hopeful that the industry is in a position to collaborate with the CDC and administration to resume cruising from the United States this year,' Carnival said. 

Monthly average cash burn rate to go down in Q4

Monthly average cash burn rate during Q3 was $770m, in line with anticipations. For Q4, this is expected to go down to approximately $530m.

This results in an average monthly burn rate for the second half of the year of $650m, as previously disclosed. This includes approximately $250m of ongoing ship operating and administrative expenses, working capital changes (excluding changes in customer deposits), interest expense and committed capital expenditures (net of unfunded export credit facilities), along with scheduled debt maturities as well as other cash collateral to be provided.

10 of 18 ships exiting have left

Carnival expects to dispose of 18 ships; 10 have already left. As earlier reported, the 18 represent approximately 12% of pre-pause capacity and only 3% of operating income in 2019. This will result in future operating expense efficiencies of approximately 2% per available lower berth day and a reduction in fuel consumption of approximately 1% per ALBD.

Increased liquidity

CFO David Bernstein said Carnival had over $8bn of available cash and additional financing alternatives at the end of Q3. This was $1.3bn more than at the end of Q2.

'We have recently begun to optimize our capital structure with the early extinguishment of debt on favorable economic terms and the extension of debt maturities,' Bernstein said. 'In addition, with the re-launch of our fleet, we saw a good opportunity to improve our balance sheet with an equity offering.'

Last month Carnival announced an at-the-market or ATM equity offering program for up to $1bn. So far, 23m shares have been sold for $350m.

Since March, the company has raised $12.5bn through a series of financing transactions.

As of Aug. 31, Carnival had a total of $8.2bn in cash and cash equivalents.