Royal Caribbean Cruises posted better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter as it continues to recover from the brutal economic downturn, but the Miami-based cruise giant said prices remain well below pre-recession levels.
“The first quarter turned out better than we were expecting and the full year is looking better as well,'' Richard D. Fain, Royal Caribbean's chairman and chief executive, told Wall Street analysts in a conference call Wednesday.
Wave season — which starts at beginning of the year and stretches to spring, when passengers book the bulk of cruises — remained strong throughout the first quarter, the company said. Bookings and prices are up over last year, it added.
Royal Caribbean — the second-largest cruise operator behind Carnival — posted first-quarter net income of $87.4 million compared with a year-earlier net loss of $36.2 million, when the industry resorted to widespread discounts to persuade consumers to sail. That amounted to 40 cents a diluted share versus a loss of 17 cents a share last year.