Carnival Corporation has begun counting the cost of the disaster, which took place off the west coast of Italy on Friday. In a statement issued last night, CEO Micky Arison said, 'A damage assessment review of the vessel is currently being undertaken to determine how long it will be out of service.'
The loss of the liner, coupled with loss of earnings and the bad PR generated by the grounding will cost the company dear. 'For the fiscal year ending November 30, the impact to 2012 earnings for loss of use is expected to be $0.11-$0.12 per share. In addition, the company anticipates other costs to the business that are not possible to determine at this time.'
That 'but' is well placed. Looking at the insurance losses incurred by the firm, this figure could spiral to $750m, making this the most expensive marine disaster of all time.
Six people have been killed in the disaster and 29 more are unaccounted for. The liner, now resting on the sea floor, is also posing a massive environmental hazard for Europe's largest marine reserve. As we speak, engineers are fighting to stop 2,300 tons of fuel leaking into the sea.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti is to declare a state of emergency for the area.