Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK) announced today that its Board of Directors voted to resume its quarterly dividend, which was suspended effective March 2009.
The board declared a dividend of $0.10 per share and approved a record date of February 19, 2010, and a payment date of March 12, 2010.
“Resuming the quarterly dividend demonstrates our confidence in the earnings power of our global cruise brands despite the current economic environment. In addition, there has been a notable improvement in our access to the capital markets since the suspension was announced at the height of the financial crisis. Initiating the dividend at this level allows us to begin to return cash to shareholders at the peak of our capital expenditure program in 2010 and still maintain our strong balance sheet and solid investment grade credit rating. We are committed to returning cash to shareholders and expect to grow the dividend as our capital investment program slows beyond 2010 leading to significant free cash flow,” said Micky Arison, Carnival Corporation & plc chairman and CEO.
Holders of Carnival Corporation common stock and Carnival plc ADSs will receive the dividend payable in U.S. dollars. The dividend for Carnival plc ordinary shares will be payable in U.S. dollars or sterling. In the absence of instructions or elections to the contrary, holders of Carnival plc ordinary shares will automatically receive the dividend in sterling.
Dividends payable in sterling will be converted from U.S. dollars at the exchange rate quoted by the Bank of England in London at 12 noon on March 1, 2010. Holders of Carnival plc ordinary shares wishing to receive their dividend in U.S. dollars or participate in the Carnival plc Dividend Reinvestment Plan must elect to do so by February 19, 2010.
Carnival Corporation & plc is the largest cruise vacation group in the world, with a portfolio of cruise brands in North America, Europe and Australia, comprised of Carnival Cruise Lines, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, The Yachts of Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Ibero Cruises, Ocean Village, P&O Cruises and P&O Cruises Australia.
Together, these brands operate 93 ships totaling more than 180,000 lower berths with 13 new ships scheduled to be delivered between January 2010 and May 2012. Carnival Corporation & plc also operates Holland America Princess Alaska Tours, the leading tour company in Alaska and the Canadian Yukon. Traded on both the New York and London Stock Exchanges, Carnival Corporation & plc is the only group in the world to be included in both the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 indices.