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NCL sinks to a first-quarter loss of nearly $160m

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The Norwegian Gem at the Royal Naval Dockyard in March (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Bermudian-based Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd has reported a GAAP net loss of $159.3 million for the first quarter of 2023.

That compares with a net loss of $982.7 million in the prior-year period.

NCL Holdings, which has been registered in Bermuda since 2011, sails to the island from Boston aboard the Norwegian Gem and Norwegian Pearl and from New York on the Norwegian Joy and Norwegian Prima.

The company reported an adjusted net loss of $127.7 million, which compares with an adjusted net loss of $760.5 million in the first quarter of 2022.

Adjusted ebitda in the first quarter was approximately $234.2 million.

Revenue increased to $1.8 billion compared with $521.9 million in first-quarter 2022 because of the phased ramp-up of cruise voyages.

Total cruise operating expense increased in 2023 compared with 2022, because of the full resumption of voyages, which resulted in higher payroll, fuel and direct variable costs of fully operating ships.

Costs for certain items were also impacted by lagging inflationary pressures.

Gross cruise costs per capacity day was approximately $298 in the quarter as reported and $301 in constant currency.

Adjusted net cruise costs excluding fuel per capacity day in constant currency was approximately $161, reflecting an approximately 14 per cent decrease compared with the second half of 2022 as benefits from the company’s margin enhancement initiative take effect.

Fuel price per metric ton, net of hedges, increased to $779 from $724 in 2022. The company reported fuel expense of $194.9 million in the period.

“As we continue to focus on rebuilding our financial track record, we are pleased to report that we met or exceeded guidance on all key metrics in the first quarter, buoyed by the strong consumer demand we are experiencing across our brands,” said Mark A Kempa, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.

“The results of our margin enhancement initiative are already starting to reflect in our financial results during the quarter, as evidenced by the significant sequential improvement in our operating costs. We will continue to capitalise and build on this momentum as we remain keenly focused on strategically improving our margins while maintaining our brands’ strong and unique positioning.”

As of March 31, the company’s total debt position was $13.1 billion and the company’s liquidity was approximately $1.9 billion, consisting of $701 million of cash and cash equivalents, nearly $600 million of availability under its revolving loan facility and a $650 million undrawn commitment.

The company also has an incremental $300 million unsecured and undrawn commitment through January 2, 2024, which enhances future liquidity as it becomes available to draw on October 4.

The company continued its phased occupancy ramp-up in the first quarter of 2023, achieving a 15-point sequential improvement to approximately 101.5 per cent, exceeding guidance of approximately 100 per cent.

The phased occupancy ramp-up is expected to be complete in the second quarter at approximately 105 per cent.

As planned, this is slightly lower than the second quarter of 2019, reflecting the company’s strategic shift to longer, more immersive itineraries.

Full year 2023 occupancy, which reflects the phased voyage ramp-up, is expected to average 103.5 per cent, consistent with prior guidance.

Mark A Kempa, executive vice-president and chief financial officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd

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Published May 02, 2023 at 7:15 am (Updated May 02, 2023 at 7:15 am)

NCL sinks to a first-quarter loss of nearly $160m

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