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Genting Hong Kong contracts ten ships from Lloyd Werft for 3,5 billion euros

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä

Kalle Id reporting from Wismar, Germany

Crystal Cruises and Star Cruises, both brands of the Genting Hong Kong conglomerate, today contracted ten new ships from the also-Genting-owned Lloyd Werft group, to be delivered between 2017 and 2020. The ships contracted included the confirmation of the already publicised orders with Crystal Cruises for four river cruise ships, one polar class yacht and one Exclusive Class ocean-going ship. In addition to the earlier publicised newbuilds, Crystal Cruises ordered an additional pair of river yachts for delivery in 2018.

At the same time Star Cruises, Genting's contemporary brand for the Asian market, contracted a pair of 201,000 gt and 5,000 lower berth mega cruise ships for Star Cruises. Known as the Global class, the new ships will be designed with ”Chinese characteristics”, Star Cruises describing them as the first purpose built cruise ships for the contemporary Chinese market. According to Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, the chairman of Genting Hong Kong, the new ships are ”focused on delivering a world-class vacation experience for Chinese cruise passengers at an affordable price.” The standard cabins on the Global Class ships will be 19.2 square metres in size, designed specificially for family travel with separate bathrooms and toilets.

The previously publicised second and third unit of the Exclusive Class for Crystal Cruises will be contracted at a later date, once final financing is in place, Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, told the gathered media.

Thanks to the extensive portfolio of new contracts, Lloyd Werft is expecting to increase the workforce across the four shipyards from current 1,700 people to 3,000, in addition to expected 3,000 subcontractors.

RCCL sells 51% of Pullmantur operation to Springwater Capital

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), the world’s second largest cruise shipping group, and Madrid-based private equity firm Springwater Capital have announced an agreement whereby RCCL will sell a 51% stake in Pullmantur and Croisieres de France (CDF), the Spanish and French focused units of the RCCL group, the Miami based company said in a statement.

RCCL will have a 49% stake in the venture and retain full ownership of the ships and planes currently operated by Pullmantur and CDF, which will be leased into the joint venture. RCL will also provide marine operations services to Pullmantur and CDF through a management agreement.

"Given the signs of recovery we have seen in the Spanish economy, as well as increased interest in cruising from tourists in France, we think this is the right time to bring together the extensive experience of our deeply valued employees at Pullmantur and CDF with the local travel and tourism expertise of the Springwater team. Springwater's local management presence in Madrid, coupled with RCCL's long-standing history in cruise operations, will provide the foundation for improved returns in the future,” said Richard Fain, Chairman and CEO of RCCL, in the statement.

The joint venture expands on the successful, pre-existing partnership between RCCL and Springwater for the Wamos air transport, travel agency, and tour operation businesses. This investment also expands Springwater's existing tourism portfolio, which includes airline and travel agency investments in Spain, France and Portugal, RCCL said in the statement.

It is expected to result in an immaterial one-time gain, which will be excluded from RCCL's key metrics. Given the markets in which Pullmantur operates, the transaction is expected to have partially offsetting impacts on yields and expenses.

The amount of these impacts will depend on when regulatory approvals are received and the transaction closes, but the net effect on the company's 2016 bottom line is expected to be neutral to marginally positive, RCCL said.

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.

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