Carnival profit falls, says 2013 bookings still lagging

NEW YORK Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:58am EST

A Carnival Corporation cruise ship is seen off the beach of Fort Lauderdale, Florida February 5, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

A Carnival Corporation cruise ship is seen off the beach of Fort Lauderdale, Florida February 5, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Innerarity

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Carnival Corp & Plc on Thursday reported a sharply lower profit as revenue continued to be hit by last January's deadly capsizing of one of its ships, and the cruise operator said bookings for 2013 were still lagging last year.

Shares were down almost 5 percent in morning trading to $37.10.

Carnival, which operates lines such as Carnival Cruises and Holland America, reported net income of $93 million, or 12 cents per share, on revenue of $2.66 billion for the fourth quarter ended November 30. That compares with net income of $217 million, or 28 cents share on revenue of $2.82 billion a year earlier.

The company, which faced a drop in demand after its Costa Concordia cruise liner capsized off the Italian cost in January, killing 32, said bookings "continue to be behind" 2012 levels and at lower prices. Carnival also said Europe remains difficult because of its poor economy, while fuel prices and currency also affected results.

Carnival forecast 2013 earnings of $2.20 to $2.40 per share. Analysts were looking for 2013 profit of $2.49 per share. (Reporting By Phil Wahba; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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