Carnival Corp. & Plc (CCL), the world's largest cruise group, on Monday said quarterly earnings rose 11.7 percent as strong demand for its cruises drove ticket prices higher.

The operator of the Carnival, Cunard, Princess, Holland America (search) and other cruise brands said earnings for the third quarter rose to $1.15 billion, or $1.36 a share, from $1.03 billion, or $1.22 a share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, expected profit of $1.35 a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Revenue rose to $3.61 billion from $3.25 a year earlier.

Net revenue yields — a key measure of ticket prices and occupancy that excludes travel agent commissions and air fares — rose 6.2 percent, driven mainly by higher ticket prices, onboard revenues, and, to a lesser extent, higher occupancy.

Looking ahead, the company continues to expect that net revenue yields for the fourth quarter of 2005 will increase about 4.5 to 5.5 percent, compared to last year's fourth quarter.

Carnival expects diluted earnings per share for the fourth quarter of 2005 to be in the range of 39 cents to 41 cents.

Carnival Chief Executive Micky Arison said the company is currently on track to post an approximate 20 percent increase in earnings per share for the year 2005.

Shares of Carnival were up 82 cents, or 1.67 percent, at $49.85 on the New York Stock Exchange (search).