Choppy waters for cruise firm

City A.M. Reporter
ROYAL Caribbean Cruises, the world’s second-largest cruise operator, yesterday said that strong US demand and a jump in bookings so far this year would help mitigate lingering weakness in Europe in 2013.

The firm reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $392.8m (£249m), on revenue of $1.81bn, compared with a profit of $36.6m on revenue of $1.78bn a year earlier.

The loss stemmed from a $413.9m impairment charge related to its Spanish cruise line Pullmantur, which has been hit by austerity measures in that country.

The company said it has seen a “significant deterioration” in demand in Spain, and sales across the industry have been hit by the sinking of the Costa Concordia.