Carnival reveals details of hardest year

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LONDON (ShareCast) - Carnival Corporation (NYSE: CCL - news) , the largest cruise company in the world, reported a fall in full year revenues after what it called its most challenging year ever.

In January, the firm's Costa Concordia liner ran aground off Tuscany resulting in the death of 30 people.

However, the firm said through "the significant efforts of its brand management teams", it was able to maintain full year 2012 net revenue yields - excluding Costa - in line with the previous year.

"In addition, we drove down net cruise costs, excluding fuel, slightly and fuel consumption by four percent," added Chairman and Chief Executive Micky Arison.

Earnings per share came in at $1.88, compared to $2.42 for the prior year.

The firm blamed unfavourable changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates for full year earnings 2012 dropping by $400m.

Revenues for the year came in $15.4bn compared to $15.8bn for the prior year.

Looking to 2013, the firm said that since September, booking volumes for the first three quarters, including Costa, were running in line with the volumes experienced last year but at slightly lower prices.

But the company added that, to date, cumulative advance bookings for 2013 continued to be behind last year at slightly lower prices.

Carnival (LSE: CCL.L - news) expects full year 2013 earnings per share to be in the range of $2.20 to $2.40, compared to $1.88 for 2012.

"Based on 2013 guidance, we estimate that cash from operations will reach $3.3bn for the year while our capital commitments will be just $2.0bn," Arison added.

"As a result, we anticipate significant free cash flow in 2013, which we intend to continue to return to shareholders."

The firm predicted net revenue yields on a constant dollar basis for full year 2013 would be up between one and two per cent.

Net cruise costs excluding fuel per 'available lower berth day' for full year 2013 are expected to be up between one and two per cent on a constant dollar basis.

The company's shares were down 5.3% at 1445.