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Norwegian retains full year guidance but lowers yield growth estimate

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which earlier reported strong first quarter interim results, says it has reduced its full year adjusted net yield forecast, but retains earnings per share (EPS) forecast unchanged.

Norwegian forecasts its adjusted net yields to rise by 1.75% this year, which is exactly half the forecast it gave in the fourth quarter and full year 2015 result statement. However, the company has significantly raised the net cruise cost guidance and now expects these to rise, on reported basis, by 6.25% compared to 2.25% in the previous guidance.

The company has retained its full year earnings per share forecast unchanged, at $3.65 to $3.80.

"Continued strong demand in the Caribbean, Alaska, Bermuda, and Hawaii is offsetting softness in Europe which comes mainly as a result of lower demand from North American consumers," said Wendy Beck, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, in a statement. 

"While this softness is tempering yield growth mainly in the second quarter, strong bookings and pricing in other core markets, as well as the addition of Seven Seas Explorer to our fleet, are contributing to strong yield performance in the back half of the year, keeping us on track to deliver expected earnings growth of approximately 30%," continued Beck. 

Sirena joined the Oceania Cruises' fleet in March and her first sailing commenced in late April following an extensive, multi-million dollar upgrade and refurbishment.  Seven Seas Explorer, the first newbuild for Regent Seven Seas Cruises in over thirteen years, will join the fleet in the third quarter

Norwegian says current booked position on par with strong 2015

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the third largest cruise shipping group in the world, said strong North American markets have helped it to reach current booked position in line with record of 2015.

“The company’s current booked position for 2016 is on par with prior year’s record levels and at higher prices. Strength in the Caribbean, Alaska, Hawaii, and other North American markets is offsetting softness in European itineraries,” Norwegian said in a statement.

Constant Currency Adjusted Net Yield increased 3.6% (2.5% as reported), driven primarily by solid demand in the Caribbean and strong onboard revenue. Gross Yield increased 2.4%.

First half of 2017 booking trends remain strong at higher prices and the company remains confident in reaching previously stated targets of double-digit Adjusted ROIC in 2016, growing to 14% by 2018, and $5.00 Adjusted EPS in 2017.

Norwegian reports $73.2 million first quarter profit on strong Caribbean yields

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, the world’s third largest cruise shipping group, has reported first quarter net profit of $73.2 million compared to a loss of $21.5 million in the same period last year. Total revenues rose to $1.08 billion from $938 million.

“We are pleased to report another quarter of solid financial performance and significant earnings growth driven primarily by strong pricing with robust demand in the Caribbean driving net yield growth above our expectations,” Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said in a statement.

“We are on track to reach our stated targets of $5.00 Adjusted EPS (earnings per share) in 2017 and double-digit return on invested capital on an adjusted basis in 2016, growing to 14% by 2018. Our recent announcements regarding our China-dedicated ship, Norwegian Joy, have been extremely well-received in the Chinese market giving us strong momentum prior to the ship’s introduction in 2017,” continued Del Rio.

Adjusted EPS growth of 41% to $0.38 on Adjusted Net Income of $86.7 million. EPS increased to $0.32 on Net Income of $73.2 million.

Lloyd Werft Design Center opens

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Kalle Id reporting from Bremerhaven

The Lloyd Werft Design Center was ceremonially opened today at Bremerhaven, Germany. The new facility will allow the shipyard to more effectively produce the design work required by the extensive order book it has acquired, primarily from Crystal Cruises, since the yard was bought by Genting last year.

Housed in Lloyd Werft former administrative building – originally built as a laundry for the North German Lloyd – the new center will fully operational on 30th May of this year. Currently, Lloyd Werft employs circa 90 designers, and there simply wasn't enough space for all of them in the existing design facility, especially as the workforce is expected to grow to 150 by the end of the year, Benedikt Brinkmann, head of design and engineering at Lloyd Werft told Cruise Business Review. In total, 250 people can be employed in the facility.

At the moment, the main customer for the Lloyd Werft Design Center is Crystal Cruises, with the Center participating in both the interior and exterior design of Crystal's new river and ocean cruise ships, working alongside Crystal Cruises' own design team. According to Brinkmann, the contracts from companies in the Genting Group currently fill the yard's order book completely, and therefore there are no plans to build cruise ships for other clients.

Lindblad buys 80.1% stake in ecotourism company Natural Habitat

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings, the New York based company which operates expedition cruises and holidays, has announced that it has acquired 80.1% of the outstanding common stock of Natural Habitat, Inc. a leading adventure travel and ecotourism company based in Boulder, Colorado.

 Natural Habitat was previously owned by Gaiam, Inc. a leading brand focused on wellness and fitness, and Ben Bressler, Natural Habitat's Founder and President. Bressler will retain an ownership interest of 19.9% in Nat Hab and will continue as President of the new Lindblad subsidiary. The transaction is expected to be accretive to earnings per share, exclusive of any purchase accounting adjustments.

The purchase price for the 80.1% interest in Natural Habitat was approximately $20 million and was financed through a combination of cash on hand ($14.85 million), Lindblad stock ($2.65 million, or 264,208 shares) and a note (approximately $2.5 million). Gaiam's 51% ownership interest in Natural Habitat was acquired for cash, while the shares acquired from Bressler were purchased through a combination of cash, Lindblad stock and a note. Bressler's remaining 19.9% interest is subject to an arrangement providing for put/call rights that generally cannot be exercised, with certain exceptions, until 2020.

Natural Habitat is a leading adventure travel and ecotourism company with a focus on responsible land-based travel. Adventures include polar bear tours in Churchill, Canada, Alaskan grizzly bear adventures, small-group Galapagos tours and African safaris. Natural Habitat offers eco-conscious expeditions from Antarctica to Zambia with a multitude of adventures in between.

Since 2003, Natural Habitat has partnered with World Wildlife Fund ("WWF") to offer conservation travel, sustainable travel that directly protects nature. As part of this transaction, WWF extended the end date of this agreement from December 31, 2018 to December 31, 2023.

The acquisition of Nat Hab provides Lindblad a platform for expansion into land-based offerings with a partner that has a strong, trusted and complementary brand and a shared focus on nature and conservation. Lindblad expects to market its ship-based trips to Natural Habitat's customer database while simultaneously marketing Natural Habitat's offerings to its own customer database, expanding the market reach of both businesses.

For the year ended December 31, 2015, Natural Habitat realized net revenues of approximately $41 million, EBITDA of approximately $3.7 million and net income of approximately $1.5 million.

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