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Carnival Posts Big Loss But Says 2022 Demand is High

Carnival Posts Big Loss But Says 2022 Demand is High

Carnival Corporation (CCL) has posted an adjusted fourth quarter loss of $1.9 billion (€1.54 billion) for 2020, but says that demand for 2022 is high.

Despite the loss, CEO Arnold Donald remains bullishly optimistic. “I know I’m certainly not alone when I say I’m glad to put 2020 behind us; clearly 2020 was unprecedented,” he told analysts on a conference call. “On the other hand, it also proved to be a true testament to the resilience of our company. I am really proud of how well we weathered the storm, and I’m very grateful to all of those who helped make it happen.”

Carnival executives said advance bookings for the first half of 2022 were ahead of 2019, when the company posted a $427 million (€346 million) profit for the same period covered by 2020’s losses. This is all the more impressive given that minimal marketing and promotional funds were invested, according to executives.

Before the good times, however, there’s still a tough road ahead – although Donald revealed that the company could weather future storms as they ended 2020 with $9.5 billion in cash and liquidity, which was “enough to sustain ourselves throughout 2021, even in a zero-revenue environment”.

He added: “Currently, the company is unable to predict when the entire fleet will return to normal operations, and as a result, unable to provide an earnings forecast”, but said “the company expects a net loss…for the first quarter and full year ending November 30, 2021”.

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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