February 4, 2023

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Carnival Corp posts a smaller loss as it tightens control over Reuters’ expenses

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The Carnival cruise ship Sunrise docked in the Port of Miami on June 18, 2022 in Miami, Florida, United States. The picture was taken with a drone. REUTERS/Marco Bello

(Reuters) -Carnival Corp on Wednesday posted a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss as the cruise operator kept operating costs firmly in check and sent its shares up about 7% in morning trade.

Cruise operators, including Carnival (NYSE:), are struggling as soaring fuel prices, a stronger US dollar and higher interest rates have been exacerbated by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

Carnival has removed some of its less efficient ships from the company’s fleet, including two ships from its Costa Cruises line, in a bid to streamline the brand amid the ongoing shutdown of cruise operations in China.

The company said it also sees occupancy for the current quarter at 90% or slightly higher and expects occupancy to return to historical levels in the summer of 2023.

“Booking volume (NASDAQ:) has increased following the easing of protocols, cancellation trends are improving globally, and we have seen a measurable lengthening of the booking curve across brands,” said Chief Executive Officer Josh Weinstein.

The cruise line’s revenue rose to $3.84 billion in the fourth quarter ended Nov. 30 from $1.29 billion a year earlier, but missed analysts’ median estimate of $3.91 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The company posted a lower adjusted net loss of 85 cents per share compared to analysts’ expectation of 87 cents.