Norwegian Reports 2018 Q2 Earnings

Norwegian Bliss in Los Angeles

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings today reported financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018, as well as provided guidance for the third quarter and full year 2018.

The company generated GAAP net income of $226.7 million or EPS of $1.01 compared to $198.5 million or $0.87 in the prior year. 

Adjusted Net Income was $271.9 million or Adjusted EPS of $1.21 compared to $232.7 million or $1.02 in the prior year.  Adjusted EPS outperformed guidance by $0.19.

Total revenue increased 13.2% to $1.5 billion. Gross Yield increased 4.3%.  Net Yield increased 4.0% on a Constant Currency basis, outperforming guidance by 200 basis points.

The company expects to generate record earnings for full year 2018 and has increased its outlook above the high end of its previous guidance range, with Adjusted EPS now expected to be in the range of $4.70 to $4.80. This includes an expected $0.10 impact, split evenly between revenue and expense, as a result of the recently announced itinerary optimization initiatives which will benefit future periods. Excluding this impact, the midpoint of Adjusted EPS guidance would have increased to approximately $4.85.

2018 full year Net Yield growth guidance on a Constant Currency basis increased 75 basis points from prior guidance to approximately 3.25%, or 125 basis points from the company’s initial full year outlook provided in February.

“The continuation of the robust booking environment from our core source markets, combined with the successful execution of demand creation strategies drove higher pricing across all three brands, resulting in second quarter revenue, yield and earnings growth well above expectations,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.  “Global consumer cruise demand shows no signs of slowing as evidenced by solid organic growth and the hugely successful introduction of Norwegian Bliss, whose record-breaking performance surpassed our high expectations. The strong demand environment is expected to continue driving higher pricing in the back half of the year, leading to an increase of our full year 2018 Adjusted EPS outlook to a range of $4.70 to $4.80, well above the initial guidance range set at the beginning of the year.”

Second Quarter 2018 Results

GAAP net income was $226.7 million or EPS of $1.01 compared to $198.5 million or $0.87 in the prior year.  The company generated Adjusted Net Income of $271.9 million or Adjusted EPS of $1.21 compared to $232.7 million or $1.02 in the prior year. 

Revenue increased 13.2% to $1.5 billion compared to $1.3 billion in 2017.  Net Revenue increased 13.7% to $1.2 billion compared to $1.0 billion in 2017.  These increases were primarily attributed to strong organic pricing growth across all core markets along with an increase in capacity days due to the addition of Norwegian Joy to the fleet in the second quarter of 2017 and Norwegian Bliss to the fleet in the second quarter of 2018, partially offset by three scheduled dry-docks during the period.  Gross Yield increased 4.3% and Net Yield increased 4.0% on a Constant Currency basis and 4.7% on an as reported basis.

Total cruise operating expense increased 14.7% in 2018 compared to 2017 primarily due to the increase in Capacity Days.  Gross Cruise Costs per Capacity Day increased 6.0% due to an increase in maintenance and repairs including Dry-dock expenses and an increase in marketing, general and administrative expenses. Adjusted Net Cruise Cost Excluding Fuel per Capacity Day increased 7.4% on a Constant Currency basis and 8.4% on an as reported basis.

Fuel price per metric ton, net of hedges increased to $481 from $469 in 2017.  The company reported fuel expense of $95.2 million in the period. 

Interest expense, net was $73.0 million in 2018 compared to $64.2 million in 2017. The increase in interest expense reflects additional debt in connection with the delivery of Norwegian Bliss in April 2018, the delivery of Norwegian Joy in April 2017, Project Leonardo financing, as well as higher interest rates due to an increase in LIBOR, partially offset by the benefit from the full redemption in October 2017 of our 4.625% Senior Notes due 2020 and $135.0 million partial redemption in April 2018 of our 4.75% Senior Notes due 2021. Also included in 2018 is the $6.3 million of redemption premium and write-off of fees in connection with the partial redemption mentioned above.

Other income (expense), net was income of $12.9 million in 2018 compared to an expense of $5.6 million in 2017. In 2018, the income was primarily related to gains on foreign currency exchange. In 2017, the expense was primarily related to losses on foreign currency exchange and unrealized and realized losses on derivatives.

Company Outlook

“2018 is well on track for yet another year of record financial performance. Furthermore, robust global demand has accelerated year-over-year gains in occupancy and pricing for full year 2019, which remains well ahead of this year’s record levels across all three brands,” continued Del Rio.  “We have a high level of confidence and strong conviction in our outlook for 2019 and beyond as demonstrated by our recent global redeployment initiatives, the bolstering of our measured growth profile with the confirmation of two additional Leonardo Class ships for delivery in 2026 and 2027, as well as the opportunistic execution of $200 million in share repurchases in the quarter, bringing the year-to-date total for share repurchases to over $450 million.”

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