By Christiana Sciaudone
Carnival (NYSE:CCL) shares rose 10.8% on Friday after the cruise operator said it was cutting capacity but indicated that demand for 2021 is growing. CCL is down about 68% in 2020. They closed at $16.16.
Cruises have been halted since mid-March, but Carnival’s AIDA line out of Germany will resume trips with three ships in August, the start of a gradual return to operations.
Despite substantially reduced spending on marketing, the company continues to see demand for new bookings for 2021, Carnival said in a statement. For the most recent booking period, the first three weeks in June 2020, almost 60% of 2021 bookings were new bookings.
The company sold one ship in June and is accelerating the removal of 13 ships, representing 9% of current capacity.
The company has reduced ship operating expenses by transitioning ships into paused status, reduced administrative expenses and non-newbuild capital expenditures by $1.3 billion for 2020 and expects to reduce its newbuild capital expenditures by over $600 million for 2020. Carnival has raised over $10 billion through a series of financing transactions.
“We have already reduced operating costs by over $7 billion on an annualized basis and reduced capital expenditures also by more than $5 billion over the next 18 months, said Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald. “We have secured over $10 billion of additional liquidity to sustain another full year with additional flexibility remaining.”
Royal Caribbean (NYSE:RCL) Cruises closed up 9.9% on Friday, and Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH) Holdings rose 7.9%.