Cruise titan Carnival Corportation reported a second-quarter loss of $4.4 billion (Dh16.2bn) including $2bn in impairment charges, and warned that it is unable predict when it will be able to resume operations given the lingering coronavirus shutdown.
The world’s largest cruise company said its adjusted net loss for the period ended May 31, excluding the charges, was $3.30 a share. That’s far deeper than analysts’ expectation of a $1.95 loss. Revenue was just $700 million, an 85 per cent plunge from the year-earlier $4.8bn. Carnival’s shares skidded in early trading on Thursday.
While rival Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings this week extended its cruising suspension through to the end of September, Carnival said it couldn’t provide a resumption target at all. Norwegian’s announcement slammed the brakes on what had been a remarkable recovery for cruise stocks, and Carnival’s further downbeat news is likely to extend losses.
Carnival is working to downsize its fleet, expecting a long, phased return to cruising when it eventually comes. The Miami-based company said it has preliminary agreements to dispose of six ships and is the process of concluding more such deals.
Like other cruise operators, Carnival has taken steps to shore up its cash and debt positions in an effort to weather the pause. The company said it has a total of $7.6bn in available liquidity and faces $250m a month in operating and administrative expenses.