Norwegian Cruise Line forecasts record earnings

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Norwegian Cruise Line expects to achieve record earnings this year setting full-year expectations at the higher end of forecasts in a second quarter trading update.

The parent of NCL, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises reported strong bookings volumes and firm pricing in the three months to June 30.

Total revenue was up 13.3% to $1.3 billion and the operator saw net income of $198.5 million and earnings per share of $0.87, up from $0.64 last year.

Revenue increased was primarily down to an increase in capacity days as a result of the reduction in the amount of dry dock periods during the quarter.

The operator also benefitted from the addition of the Regent Seven Seas Explorer and Ocean Cruises’ Sirena to the fleet in 2016 which helped to increase ticket prices.

Costs were up during the quarter by 10.6% year on year due to an increase in cruise operating expenses as well as marketing and general and administrative expenses.

Fuel costs for the quarter stood at $86.7million with a fuel price of $469 per metric tonne in line with last year.

Adjusted net income was reported to be $232.7 million and adjusted earnings per share $1.02 up from $192.6 million and $0.85 last year.

Frank Del Rio, the operator’s president and chief executive, said: “Positive consumer sentiment in north America and key international markets has resulted in a robust booking environment that continues to be the strongest on recent history which, combined with our targeted strategic revenue initiatives drove second quarter revenue and yield growth well above expectations.

“All three of our brands benefitted from strength across each on their respective markets and contributed to our second quarter earnings beat.”

Norwegian Cruise Line said it expects to generate record earnings in 2017, surpassing the high end of its prior full year guidance.

Earnings per share are now expected to be in the range of $3.93 to $4.03 up $0.14 from the previous guidance of $3.79 and $3.89.

Wendy Beck, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said: “We are pleased to report strong booking trends across all markets from the back half of 2017 where pricing and occupancy are now up mid-single digits over prior year.

“Strong booking volumes and firm pricing have benefitted our booked business for the next four quarters, contributing to the increase of our 2017 full year outlook and further solidifying our expectation for strong earnings growth.”

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