Profits up for cruising companies

Costa Concordia
The south's cruising industry is recovering well after the sinking of the Costa Concordia in January 2012 Photo: PA Images

The cruise industry in the south has returned to profit following losses and fewer passengers after the Costa Concordia disaster in January.

Carnival Corporation which owns Costa and Southampton based P&O Cruises, Carnival UK, Cunard and Princess Cruises today released profits for the last three months showing the company is faring much better than expected following the ship's sinking off the Italian coast which led to the deaths of 32 people.

The company had expected the tragedy would wipe out profits this year with fewer people travelling. But the figures show a profit of £819million, only a shade lower than in the same period of 2011.

Carnival heavily discounted cruises this summer to try to lure passengers back onboard. The company says it also generated more money than expected from customers once it got them onto the ships.

The significant efforts of our brand management teams were successful in partially mitigating the decline in cruise ticket prices."

– Micky Arison, chairman and chief executive, Carnival Corportation.

The cruise industry is worth around one billion pounds a year to the south and employs thousands of local people.