Princess Cruises Profits Plummet 64%

Thursday, April 26, 2001
P&O Princess Cruises reported a widely expected slump in first-quarter profits, with earnings partly dented by lower cruise prices. Pre-tax profits for the three months ending March fell 64 percent from the same period last year to $18.9 million. Basic earnings per share for the company -- which was demerged from ports, logistics and ferry operator P&O last year -- fell to 2.6 cents for the quarter from 6.6 cents a year ago. Cruise operators such as P&O Princess, Carnival and Royal Caribbean have all felt the effects of the U.S. economic slowdown on their revenues and earnings. Royal Carribean, the world's second biggest cruise group behind Carnival, said on Wednesday that first-quarter profits nearly halved from early 2000 as U.S. economic weakness led to lower ticket prices. P&O Princess said the North American market remained competitive on pricing but it continued to earn returns above its cost of capital. The group added that like-for-like net revenue yields were six percent lower, and forecast an overall decline in yields of two to three percent for 2001. - (Reuters)

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