It’s full steam ahead for Carnival. Revenues and earnings at the world’s largest cruise company are surging. CEO Arnold Donald tells Fortune’s Susie Gharib that bookings are way up, and the company hasn’t seen a slowdown in ticket purchases as a result of heightened anxiety about the terrorist attacks in Brussels or the Zika virus outbreak. “Every year there’s something… Every year there’s terrorist activity or some disruptions, geopolitical issues, and macro-economic malaise,” Donald says. “It happens every year. Our job is to deliver.”
And Donald has been delivering. When he meets shareholders this week in New York, he will tell them that Carnival’s earnings will grow by 20% in 2016 thanks to higher ticket prices, cost-cutting, and super cheap oil prices.
That’s a dramatic turnaround for Carnival (”CCL”) that just a few years ago was reeling from a series of highly publicized disasters at sea. First there was the sinking of the Costa Concordia in 2012, resulting in 32 deaths. A year later, an engine fire on the Carnival Triumph led to deplorable conditions for thousands of passengers. Carnival was slapped with lawsuits and lost business.
That’s when Donald was brought in to take the CEO job and right the ship. Since he became CEO three years ago, Carnival’s financial performance turned the tide and its stock has skyrocketed more than 50%. Donald tells Fortune how he set Carnival and its fleet of 100 ships on a new course.