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Royal Caribbean boosts annual profit forecast on strong cruise demand

Royal Caribbean's Icon of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world, is docked in Mahahual

(Reuters) - Royal Caribbean Group on Wednesday raised its annual profit forecast as the company benefits from strong cruise demand during the key 'wave season' and robust on-board spending.

The company's shares rose 6% in extended trade after it also said that all four quarters and key products were booked ahead of the year-ago timeline for 2024.

"Bookings have been significantly higher than during the same period last year, with the back half of the year up by more than the front half," the company said.

The wave season is a crucial period between January and March when cruise operators offer special deals and discounts for the year.

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Royal Caribbean now expects 2024 adjusted earnings per share to be between $9.90 and $10.10, compared with $9.50 to $9.70 per share the company forecast on Feb. 1.

Analysts on average were expecting a full-year profit per share of $9.77, as per LSEG data.

(Reporting by Juveria Tabassum; Editing by Maju Samuel)