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Carnival lifts earnings forecasts

Carnival, the world’s largest cruise operator, lifted its 2009 earnings forecast yesterday, citing stronger booking volumes, sending shares up as much as 8.4 per cent. Booking volumes for cruises slated for the remainder of 2009 and the first half of 2010 are running 19 per cent ahead of the prior year, spurred partly by heavy discounts, the firm said.

"It is clear that we've kind of stabilised here, and that we have been able to tweak pricing up at a price point that people find very attractive," said chief operating officer Howard Frank during a conference call with analysts.