Royal Caribbean results beat estimates, shares rise

Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:36am EDT

(Reuters) - Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCL.N) reported higher-than-expected quarterly results as passengers spent more on both tickets and entertainment on board its ships, sending shares of the company up 5 percent.

The company said net yields, which include cruise tickets and spending on board, rose 3.6 percent in the quarter, excluding currency fluctuations.

Royal Caribbean's strong earnings could indicate that vacationers shrugged off a recent norovirus outbreak on the company's Vision of the Seas ship in March where 108 people fell sick.

"Bookings from North America have remained strong since the beginning of the year, with the exception of a modest disruption to Caribbean demand which the company attributes to adverse industry media coverage," the company said in a statement.

Since the start of the year, booking volumes have averaged 5 percent ahead of last year.

Net profit rose to $76.2 million, or 35 cents per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $47.0 million, or 21 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue for the company, whose lines also include Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, rose 4 percent to $1.91 billion.

Analysts on average expected the company to report a profit of 20 cents per share on revenue of $1.88 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of the company rose 5 percent to $36.05 in early trading on Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Supriya Kurane)

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