Last updated: 12:07 PM ET, Tue September 22 2015

Carnival Corporation & plc Announces Record 2015 Third Quarter Performance

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Carnival Cruise Line | Patrick Clarke | September 22, 2015

Carnival Corporation & plc Announces Record 2015 Third Quarter Performance

PHOTO: The Golden Princess will join Carnival Corp. & plc's China lineup in 2016. (Courtesy of Princess Cruises)

Carnival Corporation & plc announced record non-GAAP performance for the third quarter of 2015 Tuesday, revealing non-GAAP net income of $1.4 billion, up from $1.2 billion during the third quarter of last year.

Meanwhile, third quarter revenues of $4.9 billion were in line with the same period last year.

Carnival CEO Arnold Donald confirmed the quarter was the strongest on record in terms of non-GAAP performance, pointing out earnings that were $0.17 per share higher than the previous year. 

The stellar performance was achieved in spite of the impact felt by fuel prices and currency.

With net revenue yields improving by five percent at constant currency from the previous year, Donald credited strong demand that resulted in higher occupancy levels, increased ticket prices and onboard spending. 

"In 2015, we are on track to achieve a nearly 35 percent earnings improvement and we are accelerating progress toward achieving double digit return on invested capital in the next three to four years," CEO Arnold Donald said in a statement. "Our improved performance has driven even stronger operating cash, which is expected to exceed $4 billion this year. We remain committed to further enhancing shareholder returns as demonstrated by our recent 20 percent increase in quarterly dividends."

The impressive figures have Carnival leadership optimistic about the future. 

"Looking forward to 2016, we have driven a significant lengthening of the booking curve and have less inventory remaining for the first half of 2016 than at this time last year, which bodes well for continued year-over-year revenue yield improvement," Donald added. "Although we already have a solid base of business for next year, we are working hard to maintain the momentum through our ongoing initiatives to create additional demand."

During Tuesday morning's third quarter earnings conference call, Donald said that travelers eyeing a 2016 cruise are best suited to "book now" given the decreasing inventory. 

To conclude the year, the company anticipates non-GAAP diluted fourth quarter earnings in the range of $0.36 to $0.40 per share, or $0.09 to $0.13 growth over 2014's fourth quarter earnings. 

With more ships set to launch in 2016 — including Princess Cruises' Golden Princess in China — and others in the works, Carnival is well-positioned to meet the cruise industry's strong demand.

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