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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. announces new Chairman and other appointments to its Board of Directors

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., today announced the following appointments to its Board of Directors, effective as of March 27, 2015.

Walter Revel, longtime director, has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. Revel has served as director and Chairman of the Audit Committee for the Company since 2005 and as director of certain predecessor companies beginning in 1993. Since 1984, Mr. Revell has been Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Revell Investments International, Inc., a diversified investment, development and management company located in Coral Gables, Florida. Since 2002, Mr. Revell has also served as a director of International Finance Bank in Miami, Florida, and became Chairman of the Board in September 2013. Since 1990, he has served as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Pinehurst Development, Inc., a family owned company. Revel also serves on the Executive Committee, the Board of Trustees and as Chairman of the New Museum Project Committee of the Miami Science Museum. He formerly was a director of Calpine Corporation, Dycom Industries, Rinker Materials, The St. Joe Company and Sun Banks of Florida. Mr. Revell served as Secretary of Transportation for the State of Florida in the Askew Administration. He is a past Chairman of the Florida Chamber of Commerce and was a member of The Florida Council of 100 for 37 years. He served as Chairman and CEO of H.J. Ross Associates, Inc., consulting engineers, planners and scientists, and continues as Senior Advisor to T.Y. Lin International, the new parent company, in San Francisco.

Kevin C. Jones, a designee of Genting Hong Kong Limited, was appointed director of the Company. Mr. Jones is the General Counsel, Secretary and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy for Genting Americas Inc., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Genting Malaysia Berhad. Mr. Jones oversees all legal, corporate compliance, risk management and strategic corporate development matters for the North American operations of Genting Malaysia Berhad. Prior to accepting his current position with Genting Americas Inc., Mr. Jones practiced law at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, serving as counsel for multi-billion dollar companies in a broad range of general corporate and real estate transactions.

Blondel So King Tak, a designee of Genting Hong Kong Limited, was appointed a director of the Company. Mr. So joined Genting HK as Chief Financial Officer in July 2007. In October 2009, Mr. So was appointed Chief Operating Officer and in August 2014 was appointed Executive Vice President (Corporate Services) and Country Head of Hong Kong & Macau for Genting HK. Mr. So also acts as a director of various subsidiaries of Genting HK. He has over 23 years of experience in the financial sector with the first 15 years in the banking industry. Prior to joining Genting HK, he held a number of senior positions in multinational corporations and listed companies.

Ongoing improvement in cruise industry fundamentals - Carnival's Donald

Carnival Corp & plc President and CEO Arnold Donald says the the cruise industry's fundamentals continue to improve.

He noted in a statement: “We are experiencing an ongoing improvement in underlying fundamentals based on our successful initiatives to drive demand. Our efforts to further elevate our guest experience are clearly resonating with consumers and, notably, improving the frequency and retention of our loyal guests.”

At this time, cumulative advance bookings for the remainder of 2015 are ahead of the prior year at higher prices. Since January, booking volumes for the remainder of the year are running in line with last year’s historically high levels at higher prices.

Donald added, “We are also seeing results from our ongoing public relations efforts and creative marketing campaign designed to attract new to cruise. Our multifaceted campaign built around the Super Bowl garnered 5 billion media impressions before the commercial aired and has exceeded 10 billion impressions to date.”

Donald also noted that the recent delivery of Britannia of P&O Cruises, at 143,760 gross tons the largest cruise ship built for Britain and named by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, drew international acclaim and showcased cruising on a global scale.

Carnival reports strong first quarter as Carnival Cruise Line and Costa in Asia shine

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest cruise shipping group, has reported strong figures for the first quarter of its financial year as yields rose markedly, driven by the group's US focused Carnival Cruise Line contemporary market brand and Costa Crociere;s Asian business.

Group net profit in three months to 28 February amounted to $49 million, compared to a loss of $20 million in the same period a year earlier. Operating profit (EBIT) rose to $266 million from $67 million, although revenues declined to $3.53 billion from $3.58 billion.

President and Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald noted in a statement: "The year is off to a strong start achieving significantly higher earnings than the prior year and our previous guidance. Our onboard revenue initiatives drove particularly strong improvement in the first quarter with onboard yields more than 8% higher than prior year (constant dollar).”

Donald also noted that the Carnival Cruise Line brand continued to outperform, achieving significant revenue yield growth and remains on track for a strong year. Additionally, Costa’s Asia operations achieved double-digit revenue yield growth, affirming the pent-up demand in the region and building confidence in the long-term potential for growth.

Key metrics for the first quarter 2015 compared to first quarter 2014 were as follows:

On a constant dollar basis, net revenue yields (net revenue per available lower berth day or “ALBD”) increased 2.0% for 1Q 2015, which was better than the company’s December guidance of flat to up 1.0%. Gross revenue yields decreased 3.1% in current dollars due to changes in currency exchange rates.

Net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD increased 2.4% in constantdollars primarily due to higher dry-dock costs and advertising expenses. Costs were lower than December guidance, up 5.5% to 6.5%, substantially all due to the timing of expenses between quarters. "Gross cruise costs including fuel per ALBD in current dollars declined 9.6% due to changes in fuel prices and currency exchange rates," the company said.

Fuel prices declined 38% to $406 per metric ton for 1Q 2015 from $654 per metric ton in 1Q 2014.
Fuel consumption per ALBD decreased 3.7% in 1Q 2015 compared to the prior year.
Changes in currency exchange rates reduced earnings by $0.06 per share (constant currency).

 

Carnival forecasts strong yield rise, but warns of strong dollar

Carnival Corp & plc, the Anglo-American cruise shipping giant, says it expects yields to rise much more than anticipated in December, but warns that a firmer dollar will have a negative impact.

Based on current booking strength, the company expects full year 2015 net revenue yields to increase 3% to 4% on a constant currency basis, which excludes translation and transactional currency impacts, compared to the prior year. "This is one full (percentage) point better than December guidance on a constant currency basis," Carnival said.

On a constant dollar basis, which does not exclude the unfavourable transactional impact of currency, the company still expects yields to be approximately 2% higher than the prior year. The company expects net cruise costs excluding fuel per ALBD for full year 2015 to be up 2% to 3% percent compared to the prior year on a constant dollar basis, which is better than December guidance of up 3% due primarily to the favorable transactional currency impact.

Since December, unfavourable changes in currency exchange rates (constant currency) have reduced full year 2015 earnings expectations by $219 million, or $0.28 per share. However, this impact has been significantly offset by the improvement in the company’s operating performance, resulting in just a $0.05 reduction to the midpoint of December guidance.

Taking the above factors into consideration, the company forecasts full year 2015 non-GAAP diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $2.30 to $2.50, compared to 2014 non-GAAP diluted earnings of $1.93 per share.

Looking forward, Donald stated, “Consistent with many global companies, the strengthening of the U.S. dollar has hampered our full year earnings expectations, masking the 3% to 4% (constant currency) yield increase our collective brands are expecting to achieve. Our successful initiatives to drive both ticket and onboard revenue yields have improved our financial performance and we remain on track toward our goal of achieving double-digit return on invested capital in the next three to four years.”

Carnival group, Meyer Werft and Fincantieri in nine ship agreement

Carnival Corporation & plc, the world's largest cruise shipping company, today signed two strategic memorandums of agreement that will add a total of nine new cruise ships to the company's fleet over a four-year period from 2019 - 2022. Details of the vessels and to which brands they would be allocated will be disclosed later, but the company said they would serve the North America, European and Chinese markets.

"The shipbuilding agreements, which include options for additional ship builds in the coming years, are subject to several conditions, including satisfactory financing," the Anglo-American company said in a statement.

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri S.p.A and German shipbuilder Meyer Werft will each build ships based on Carnival group's next-generation ship designs, which will produce the most efficient ships in the company's history. "The new ships are expected to serve established cruise markets in North America and Europe, as well as newer markets, including China. Each new ship will be specifically designed and developed for the brand and guests it will serve, and support the company's overall goal of exceeding guest expectations and further elevating every aspect of the guest experience," Carnival said.

"We're excited to take this next step in our fleet enhancement plan with these two new agreements that are consistent with our long-term strategy of measured capacity growth over time," said Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. "Our goal as a company is to exceed the expectations of every guest on every ship every day, and these new ships will further enable us to do just that. These will be the most efficient ships we have ever built and the great guest experience will create even more excitement around cruising – helping new cruisers realize the superior vacation experience and value that cruising offers versus land-based vacations."

Fincantieri, the world's largest cruise ship building company, will develop and construct five ships at its shipyards in Monfalcone and Marghera, Italy.

"I am extremely proud on this truly memorable day for us. Today's announcement provides us with a long-term strategic prospective, and reinforces the extraordinary partnership between us and Carnival Corporation, developed over time thanks to the confidence the group has always shown in us, which we assure will be once again well placed," said Giuseppe Bono, CEO of Fincantieri. "This agreement reflects the exceptional business vision of the world's most important cruise operator, and our readiness and flexibility in interpreting its demands."

Bono added, "This agreement is the best reward for our hard work over all these years, and in fact, our organizational, design and production skills have allowed us to consolidate our market leadership, confirming us at the top of such an exclusive and complex industry."

Meyer Werft, a leading global shipbuilder founded in Germany in 1795, will build its four ships at its shipyards in Papenburg, Germany, and Turku, Finland. Now in its seventh generation of family ownership, Meyer Werft has become well known for constructing large, modern and sophisticated cruise ships, including 39 luxury ships the company has built for its customers around the world.

Bernard Meyer, managing partner of Meyer Werft, said, "We are very happy and honored that Carnival Corporation trusts our strength to bring this ambitious newbuilding program to life in Turku and Papenburg."

As part of each company's long-term strategic partnership with Carnival Corporation & plc, additional new ship orders are being explored over the coming decade.

Additional information on Carnival group's cruise ship design, and which of the company's nine leading global brands will add these next-generation vessels to their fleets will be made available at a later date.

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