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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Royal Caribbean Cruises tops earnings forecasts

The company also announced a bonus plan that would equal to 5 per cent of the salaries of its 66,000 employees

The Royal Caribbean cruise ship Empress of the Seas is guided out of PortMiami by a pilot boat, in Miami Beach, Florida. Lynne Sladky/AP
The Royal Caribbean cruise ship Empress of the Seas is guided out of PortMiami by a pilot boat, in Miami Beach, Florida. Lynne Sladky/AP

Royal Caribbean Cruises reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue on Wednesday that beat Wall Street estimates, helped by higher on-board spending and lower cruise operating expenses in the crucial holiday season.

However, the second-largest US cruise operator's 2018 first quarter earnings per share forecast of 95 cents fell short of the average analyst estimate of US$1.02.

In the 2016/17 Abu Dhabi cruise season, the company's Celebrity Constellation carried more than 13,000 guests in 975 staterooms on 13 decks on six Abu Dhabi-originating 12, 14 and 15-night voyages as part of a three-month-long home port deployment.

Shares of the Miami, Florida-based company, which is set to debut the world's largest cruise ship Symphony of the Seas, rose 1 per cent to $128.50 in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

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The company's onboard revenue, which makes up more than one-fourth of its total revenue, rose 5 per cent to 584.1 million in the quarter.

The company also announced a bonus plan that would equal to 5 per cent of the salaries of its 66,000 employees.

Net income attributable to the company's shareholders rose to $288 million, or $1.34 per share, in the quarter ended December 31 from $261.1m, or $1.21 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.34 per share. Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.20 per share, according to Reuters.

Net revenue rose 10 per cent in the quarter to $2 billion, beating the analyst average estimate of $1.97bn.