Carnival posts $50m rise in bunker costs

Average bunker price climbs 11.4 percent to $507 per tonne in Q2.

The Carnival Valor docked at Nassau, Bahamas. Image credit: Charles Pluta Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Updated on 21 Jun 2019 12:28 GMT

Cruise operator Carnival Corporation & plc reports that it recorded a $50m jump in bunker costs, year-on-year, during the company's second fiscal quarter (Q2) of 2019, which runs between March 1 and May 31.

Bunker fuel expenses in Q2 amounted to $423m (up $50m, or 13.4 percent), having been $373m during the corresponding period the previous year.

The US firm paid an average of $507 per metric tonne (pmt) over the period, compared with $455 pmt in Q2 2018 - representing a rise of $52, or 11.4 percent.

Bunker fuel consumption was 835,000 mt - 16,000 mt higher than the 819,000 mt recorded during the same quarter last year.

Fuel consumption per thousand available lower berth days (ALBDs) was down to 38.6 mt from 39.6 mt in 2018.

Carnival Q2 2019 - Bunker overview

Q2 19 Q2 18
Bunker costs ($) 423m 373m
Avg price ($/mt) 507 455
Consumption (mt) 835,000 819,000

Six-month results

For the first six months (H1) of the fiscal year (December 1 to May 31), Carnival saw bunker costs increase by $73m, or 10.0 percent, to $804m, up from last year's figure of $731m.

The average price paid for fuel climbed $37, or 8.3 percent, to $483 pmt, up from $446 pmt during the prior-year period.

The cruise specialist's vessels burned 1,664,000 mt in H1, compared with 1,640,000 tonnes in 2017.

Fuel consumption per thousand available lower berth days (ALBDs) was 38.8 mt, down from 39.9 mt the year before.

Carnival H1 2019 - Bunker overview

H1 19 H1 18
Bunker costs ($) 804m 731m
Avg price ($/mt) 483 446
Consumption (mt) 1.664m 1.640m

2019 forecast

Below is Carnival's fuel price and consumption forecast for 2019.

Q3 19 FY 19
Fuel price ($/mt) 461 463
Consumption (mt) 820,000 3.29m

Key financial results

In its key results for Q2 2019, Carnival posted a decrease in net income of $110m, or 19.6 percent, to $451m.

Q2 revenue amounted to $4,838m, which was $481m, or 11.0 percent, higher than the $4,357m achieved during the corresponding period in 2018.

Operating costs were also up - rising by $525m, or 13.8 percent, to $4,323m.

Commenting on the results, Carnival's president and CEO, Arnold Donald, stated: "Second quarter earnings included revenue growth from higher capacity and improved onboard spending, more than offset by a drag from fuel and currency compared to the prior year."

On the company's outlook for 2018, Donald remarked: "Over the past five years we have demonstrated our ability to overcome multiple headwinds and deliver strong operational improvement. This year our growth has been hampered by a confluence of events, which we are focused on mitigating. Generating over $5 billion of cash flow and with a robust business model, our business is strong and we remain confident over time we will deliver double-digit earnings growth and growth in return on invested capital."