July 28, 2014

With new ships, Norwegian second-quarter earnings improve

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings reported higher profits for the quarter that ended June 30.

Profits jumped in the second quarter for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings as the Miami-based cruise company marked the first full quarter with its newest two ships in operation.

Norwegian reported earnings for the quarter that ended June 30 after markets closed Monday afternoon.

Revenues increased nearly 19 percent year over year to about $766 million, though that figure missed analyst estimates of $797.5 million. Net income increased from a loss of $8.8 million in the second quarter of 2013 to $111.6 million in profit this year.

Costs excluding fuel were down more than 2 percent. Net yields — or net revenue per berth per day — increased 3.3 percent, which Norwegian said was due to higher occupancy, higher onboard spending and cost-cutting initiatives.

The company reported adjusted earnings of 58 cents per share, right in line with its forecast and a cent higher than Wall Street had expected.

“I think at the end of the day the quarter came out pretty much right where we were hoping for it to come out,” said Kevin Sheehan, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line.

The competitive Caribbean, which has dragged down earnings across the industry because of discounting, remains “a promotional environment,” Sheehan said. But he said the volume of bookings has been “very solid” for the last 10 weeks or so.

“The one good thing is you start to feel that things are getting better,” he said. “If things continue in that fashion it should enable us to move pricing a bit.”

Norwegian Cruise Line introduced the first in a new class of ship, the nearly 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway, during the second quarter of 2013. Sister ship Norwegian Getaway followed at the beginning of this year. Those “newer, premium, earnings-rich ships” combined with the 4-year-old Norwegian Epic make up more than a third of the cruise line’s capacity and helped boost earnings, Norwegian said in a press release.

The company maintained its previous full-year forecast for adjusted earnings per share of $2.20 to $2.35.

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