Cruise operator Carnival cuts first-half profit forecast

Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:51pm EST

Feb 13 (Reuters) - Cruise operator Carnival Corp said voyage disruptions and repair costs would hurt its earnings in the first half of the year, sending its shares down 4 percent.

The Miami-based company's Carnival Triumph was towed to port in Alabama on Tuesday as passengers complained of heat and odors from backed up toilets after an engine fire left it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Costa Concordia had ran aground off the Italian coast last year, killing 32 people.

Carnival Corp expects an 8 cents to 10 cents per share reduction in its first-half earnings. The company had forecast 2013 profit of $2.20 to $2.40 per share in December.

Smaller rival Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, however, said earlier this month that strong U.S. demand and a jump in bookings would help mitigate lingering weakness in Europe in 2013.

Carnival Corp shares fell to $37.42 on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

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