The Star Cruises Group has reported net income of $2.3 miilion, or $0.04 per share, on revenues of $376.9 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2004, compared to a net loss of $29.0 million, or $0.59 per share, on revenues of $368.7 million for the second quarter of 2003. Last year was severely impacted by the Iraq conflict and the outbreak of SARS, according to Star.

Star reported increased revenue despite a 13.7 percent decrease in capacity for Q2 04 compared to Q2 03. Net revenue yield was up 22.3 percent and occupancy levels increased from 93.8 percent in 2003 to 106.4 percent in 2004.

The capacity reduction resulted from the decommissioning of the Norway, the scheduled drydockings of the Norwegian Star. Norwegian Sun and Pride of Aloha and the sales of the Superstar Capricorn and the Superstar Aries.

Q2 04 was also impacted by a $3.2 million U.S. fine when the Norwegian Star was unable to call at Fanning Island due to problems with its Azipod propulsion system.

Operating costs were up this year largely due to some 135,000 capacity days out of service because of drydockings, continued start-up costs for NCL America, and lay-up expenses for the Norway.

Increased costs were partially offset by lower fuel costs due the withdrawal of what Star called "fuelinefficient ships," notably the Norway and the Superstar Aries, as well as cessation of the fuel-intensive Fanning Island run.  

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL)

The new Hawaii operation launched service on July 4 and is very well booked at high per dierns for the remainder of the year and into next year, according to Star which also said that "initial operational challenges with an all-new U.S. crew were progressively being addressed and this new trade has very encouragmg potential."

Also, reorganized in July as the NCL Corporation (NCLC), Star said that after its recent fund-raising, the company has approximately $460 million in excess of its future obligations on ships under construction.

Of the $1.05 billion raised, NCLC has repaid the term loans on the Norwegian Star and the Norwegian and has purchased the Superstar Leo from Star Cruises. The balance is intended for general corporate purposes and new ship building.

Six Months

Star reported net income of $3.5 million, or $0.07 per share, on revenues of $767.7 million for the first six months of 2004, compared to a net loss of $31.2 million, or $0.63 per share, on revenues of $780.7 million for the first six months of 2003.

The two fleets of NCL and Star reported 4,075,323 passenger cruise days this year for a 102 percent load factor, compared to 3,182,810 passenger cruise days and a load factor of 93 percent for the same period last year.