Lindblad Rockets to Strong Q1 Performance

National Geographic Explorer

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2018.

Net income was up to $10.8 million for the quarter, compared to $0.6 million for the same period last year.

First quarter tour revenues of $82.4 million increased $19.3 million, or 31%, as compared to the same period in 2017. The increase was driven by growth of $17.3 million at the Lindblad segment and a $2.0 million increase at Natural Habitat, the company said. 

Excluding the estimated $9.1 million impact from voyage cancellations in the first quarter of 2017, total company revenue would have increased 14% versus the same period a year ago.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “The strong financial results delivered by Lindblad during the first quarter are a continuation of the momentum we generated during the back half of 2017 and highlights the opportunity in front of us as we continue to add vessels to our fleet. The addition of the National Geographic Quest in July of 2017 expanded our capacity by approximately 15% and as we have increased inventory we have grown our net yields and maintained high occupancy levels.

"This highlights the demand from both our loyal customer base and a growing audience seeking authentic expedition travel," he continued. "Bookings during 2018 remain very strong, up 20% versus the same period a year ago, and we are seeing broad based demand for travel on our existing fleet, as well as for the additional two ships we will be adding over the next couple of years. The National Geographic Venture and the recently named National Geographic Endurance will further increase our capacity in high demand geographies and will provide the opportunity to build additional shareholder value in the years ahead.”

Lindblad segment tour revenue of $70.5 million increased $17.3 million, or 32%, compared to the first quarter a year ago primarily due to a 26% increase in Available Guest Nights, mostly from the launch of the National Geographic Quest in July 2017 and the impact of voyage cancellations for necessary repairs in the first quarter a year ago.

The year on year growth also reflects a 12% increase in Net Yield to $1,127 due to increased pricing and changes in itineraries as well as an increase in Occupancy to 91% due to higher demand across the fleet. Excluding the estimated $9.1 million impact from the voyage cancellations in the first quarter of 2017, Lindblad segment revenue would have increased 13% versus the same period a year ago.

Natural Habitat revenues of $12.0 million increased $2.0 million, or 20%, compared to the first quarter a year ago due primarily to higher ticket revenue from additional departures and increased pricing.

Net income available to common stockholders for the first quarter was $10.8 million, $0.24 per diluted share, as compared with net income available to common stockholders of $0.6 million, $0.01 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2017. The $10.2 million increase is primarily due to the higher operating results and $3.3 million of lower stock-based compensation expense in the current year partially offset by $1.9 million of increased tax expense, $1.3 million of higher depreciation and amortization due primarily to the addition of the National Geographic Quest to the fleet in July 2017 and costs of $1.0 million related to refinancing the Company’s credit facility.

First quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $22.2 million increased $11.9 million, or 116%, as compared to the same period in 2017. The increase was driven by growth of $11.0 million at the Lindblad segment and a $0.9 million increase at Natural Habitat. Excluding the estimated $6.5 million impact from the voyage cancellations in the first quarter of 2017, total Company Adjusted EBITDA would have increased 33% versus the same period a year ago.

Lindblad segment Adjusted EBITDA of $20.9 million increased $11.0 million, or 112%, as compared to the first quarter a year ago as the increased tour revenues and lower charter costs, due mostly to a planned reduction in Cuba itineraries, were partially offset by operating costs on theNational Geographic Quest. The first quarter of 2018 also included higher operating expenses due to the cancelled voyages in the prior year as well as higher commission expense related to the revenue growth and increased personnel costs. Excluding the estimated $6.5 million impact from the voyage cancellations in the first quarter of 2017, Lindblad segment Adjusted EBITDA would have increased 28% versus the same period a year ago.

Natural Habitat Adjusted EBITDA of $1.3 million increased $0.9 million compared to the first quarter a year ago as the revenue growth was partially offset by increased personnel and marketing costs to drive long-term growth initiatives.

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