Lindblad Expeditions Holdings today reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2015.

Lindblad's Financial Highlights for the Fourth Quarter and Full Year of 2015

Lindblad generated tour revenues of $46.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of $1.7 million or 3.8% as compared with the prior year quarter

Tour revenues for the full year 2015 amounted to $210.0 million, an increase of $11.5 million or 5.8% as compared with the full year 2014

Net Yield for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $989 as compared with $901 in the prior year quarter, an increase of 9.8%.  Net Yield was $971 for the full year 2015, as compared with $950 for the full year 2014

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2015 was $4.7 million as compared with $5.8 million in the prior year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA was $46.8 million for the full year 2015, as compared with $44.6 million for the full year 2014

Review of Lindblad's Fourth Quarter 2015 Results

"The Company continued to post solid results in the fourth quarter from a strong performance by the entire fleet. We were pleased to see Net Yield grow about 10% for the quarter, which was driven by strong inventory management and focused tactical marketing," said Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lindblad.  "Adjusted EBITDA was down slightly in the quarter, which was primarily caused by the timing of vessel drydocking and the related reduction in revenue and increase in expense."    

Tour revenues in the fourth quarter amounted to $46.5 million, as compared with $44.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, which represents an increase of $1.7 million or 3.8%. The growth was primarily driven by $3.0 million higher guest ticket revenues derived from price increases and changes in vessel deployments.  This increase was partially offset by a decline in other revenues.  Tour revenues for full year 2015 increased 5.8% as compared with the prior year, to $210.0 million from $198.5 million for the full year 2014.

Net Yield in the quarter amounted to $989 as compared with $901 in the fourth quarter of 2014, which represents an increase of 9.8%, related primarily to the increase in pricing and changes in vessel deployments in the quarter.  Lindblad recorded 37,296 Guest Nights Sold and an occupancy rate of 93.3% in the fourth quarter of 2015.  Net Yield for the full year 2015 amounted to $971 as compared with $950 for the full year 2014.

Adjusted Net Cruise Cost per Available Guest Night amounted to $870 in the fourth quarter of 2015, as compared with $763 in the same period in the prior year, which represents an increase of 14.0%. The increase was primarily driven by an increase in cost of tours due to an additional voyage and drydock costs due to timing, partially offset by a reduction in the cost of fuel. Adjusted Net Cruise Cost per Available Guest Night amounted to $717 for the full year 2015 as compared with $702 for the full year 2014, an increase of 2.1%.

Adjusted EBITDA was $4.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2015 as compared with $5.8 million in the same period in 2014, a decrease of $1.1 million.  This decrease is primarily due to the timing of vessel drydocking expenses, where one additional vessel was in drydock in the 2015 fourth quarter as compared with the same quarter in 2014.  Adjusted EBITDA increased 4.9% for the full year 2015 to $46.8 million as compared with $44.6 million for the full year 2014.  Net income was $19.7 million for the full year 2015 as compared with $22.2 million for the year 2014.

Lindblad uses a variety of operational and financial metrics, including non-GAAP financial measures, to evaluate its performance and financial condition. The accompanying financial data includes additional information regarding these metrics and a reconciliation of non-GAAP financial information to GAAP.

Full Year 2016

The Company continues to expect that it will achieve the 2016 financial projections set forth in the investor presentation furnished with a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on April 1, 2015, which projected revenue of $217 million and Adjusted EBITDA of $51 million for the full year of 2016.

John T. McClain, the Company's Chief Financial Officer also added: "We continue to see a strong booking pace for 2016 with 85% of guest ticket revenues for the 2016 financial year on the books as of March 7, 2016, compared with 89% at the same time in 2015 for the 2015 financial year."

Fleet Activities

During the fourth quarter of 2015, the Company signed definitive agreements for the newbuild of two U.S. flagged coastal vessels.  The first completed ship is expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2017 and the second vessel is expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2018.  "These new ships mark an exciting step in the long-term growth of the Company, and enable us to capitalize on the substantial demand for our expeditions.  With our significant resources we can continue to deliver on our promise of expedition travel at its best, and can expand our unique offerings in the Americas where we have very strong demand," said Sven-Olof Lindblad.     

During the fourth quarter of 2015, the Company also signed a definitive agreement for the purchase of the Via Australis to be used in the Company's operations in the Galápagos Islands.  The Company expects to take possession of the ship in the second quarter of 2016 and following a significant renovation expects to deploy the ship during the fourth quarter of 2016.  The Via Australis will replace the National Geographic Endeavour.

Amended and Restated Credit Facility

On March 7, 2016, the Company amended its senior secured credit facility with Credit Suisse as administrative agent and collateral agent (the "Credit Facility") to add on a new $45.0 million senior secured incremental revolving credit facility, including a $5.0 million letter of credit subfacility (the "Revolving Credit Facility").   Borrowings under the Revolving Credit Facility will bear an interest rate of LIBOR plus a spread of 4.00%, or, at the option of the Company, an alternative base rate plus a spread of 3.00%, and matures on May 8, 2020.   The Company is also required to pay a 0.5% annual commitment fee on undrawn amounts under the Revolving Credit Facility.  The financial and operational covenants, interest rates and maturity for term loan borrowings under the Credit Facility remain unchanged.  Borrowings under the Revolving Credit Facility will be used for general corporate and working capital purposes and related fees and expenses.  The amendment also expanded the lender base, adding Citibank, N.A. as syndication agent and SunTrust Bank as documentation agent.

Stock and Warrant Repurchase Plan Update

In the fourth quarter of 2015, the Company repurchased 2.09 million of our warrants for $5.5 million, representing an average price of $2.62 per warrant.  In the first quarter of 2016, the Company repurchased 1.97 million warrants for $5.4 million, representing an average price of $2.76 per warrant.  Total program to date, the Company repurchased 4.06 million of our warrants for $10.9 million, representing an average price of $2.69 per warrant.  The Company currently has $9.1 million available under its $20 million repurchase authorization.