Published on Monday, December 21, 2015

Costa chief: 'We're not going direct in UK'

Costa Cruises has announced a change in policy over the weekend and says it will not now be moving to direct sell in the UK.

The company issued a revised statement this morning after Arnold Donald, CEO of Costa parent Carnival Corp & plc was asked about the move by analysts during a Carnival earnings call.

'Costa is not going direct in the UK,' he said, adding reports at the end of last week that the cruiseline was going direct must have 'got lost in translation'.

A short statement this morning announced: "Costa confirms that travel partners in the UK will continue to be able to sell Costa Cruises through the 'Costa Click' internet booking engine at an appropriate commission.

"Servicing of the UK trade will take place through the Genova call centre."

Last week, Costa said the direct sales model was 'the best way to serve the needs of the market' and said it would go direct by February 2016.

Costa parent Carnival Corp reported 40% increase in full-year earnings for 2015, with fourth-quarter results almost doubling, despite a slight fall in revenues.

Adjusted net income for the year was $2.1 billion, up from $1.5 billion in 2014.

Donald said "This year we achieved a 4.3 percent improvement (constant currency) in revenue yields compared to the prior year due to higher onboard revenues and increased ticket prices as we have driven demand in excess of capacity growth, while our ongoing efforts to leverage our industry-leading scale helped to contain costs."

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