Costa Concordia owner faces $2 billion in costs

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The Costa Concordia capsizing is now expected to cost the owners of the cruise ship more than $2 billion.

“So far, our costs are at 1 billion euros. But that does not include 100 million for the ship to be broken up for scrap and the cost of repairing damage to Giglio island,” Costa Crociere CEO Michael Thamm told the German weekly newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

The disaster hurt the image of Carnival, the world’s largest cruise operator. In March, the company forecast an annual profit below analysts’ estimates as it cut prices and spent more on advertising to attract customers.

The 114-ton luxury liner struck rocks as it sailed close to the island of Giglio off Tuscany in January 2012, killing 32 people and setting off a chaotic evacuation of more than 4,000 passengers and crew.

The hulk of the 950-foot ship was righted and secured in a complex operation last September. It is due to be towed to Genoa to be broken up for scrap in the coming days.

“If everything goes well, we can complete this unprecedented salvage project this month,” Thamm told Bild am Sonntag in an interview that was published Sunday, adding that he expected recycling of the ship to take almost two years.

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