CRUISE INDUSTRY

Norwegian Cruise Line sees first-quarter improvement

 

hsampson@MiamiHerald.com

In its first quarter as a publicly traded company, Norwegian Cruise Line saw revenues grow thanks to higher ticket prices and increased onboard spending.

One-time expenses related to the company’s initial public offering in January and prepayment of debt left the Miami-based cruise operator with a net loss of $96.4 million. But excluding those expenses, adjusted net income for the quarter that ended March 31 grew from $3.3 million in 2012 to $12.9 million this year, beating expectations.

“That’s the kind of momentum that we’re starting to feel now,” said Norwegian Cruise Line President and CEO Kevin Sheehan in an interview from the Norwegian Breakaway, which will be christened Wednesday in its new home port of Manhattan.

Revenue increased by more than 2 percent to $527.6 million. While the cost of fuel jumped 12.5 percent, other net costs dropped 1.5 percent. Net yields, or the net revenue per capacity day, increased 3.3 percent.

Calling the results “pretty darn good,” Sheehan said performance improved in the quarter despite the weeklong absence of Hawaii-based Pride of America, which was scheduled for dry-dock maintenance, and without a new ship to drive additional business. The 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway, which was built in Germany, was delivered late last month.

Norwegian wasn’t immune to the woes that rocked the industry earlier this year, however. Competitor Carnival Cruise Lines suffered a bruising spell in the spotlight in February after the Carnival Triumph caught fire and spent days at sea without power, working toilets or hot water.

“We did see a little bit of a drop-off in the booking activity for a very short period of time,” Sheehan said. “We feel that we did a good job of recovering from that.”

The company released the results after markets closed Monday. Shares finished the day at $31.82, up nearly 1 percent.

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