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Lindblad Reports 2019 Q4 and Full Year Results

National Geographic Explorer

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2019.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and Chief Executive Officer, said "Lindblad delivered another year of strong financial growth in 2019 as our sustained investment in expanding our capacity to further meet the growing demand for authentic expedition travel is attracting a diverse audience of new and returning guests. We have increased our inventory by more than 20% since we began strategically investing in our new build program in 2015 and since that time, we have grown Net Yields by 8% while also maintaining occupancy levels above 90%. In 2020, with a continued strong booking environment and the expected April launch of the National Geographic Endurance, our first new state-of-the-art polar ice class vessel, we are poised to substantially build on the growth we delivered this past year. Overall, Lindblad's proven track record in delivering high quality and immersive experiences in the world's most remarkable geographies, along with our strategic partnership with National Geographic, should enable us to continue to add inventory while maintaining strong price points and audience levels, driving additional shareholder value in the years ahead."

FULL YEAR RESULTS

Tour Revenues

Full year tour revenues of $343.1 million increased $33.4 million, or 11%, as compared to 2018. The increase was driven by growth of $26.1 million at the Lindblad segment and a $7.3 million increase at Natural Habitat.

Lindblad segment tour revenues of $272.4 million increased $26.1 million, or 11%, compared to 2018 primarily due to a 10% increase in Available Guest Nights, mostly from the launch of the National Geographic Venture in December 2018. The year on year growth also reflects a 1% increase in Net Yield to $1,051 due primarily to higher pricing and changes in itineraries, while Occupancy was in line with a year ago at 91%.

Natural Habitat revenues of $70.7 million increased $7.3 million, or 11%, compared to 2018 due primarily to higher ticket revenue from additional departures, increased travelers and itinerary changes that drove higher average pricing.

Net Income

Net income available to common stockholders for 2019 was $13.7 million, $0.28 per diluted share, as compared with net income available to common stockholders of $11.4 million, $0.24 per diluted share, in 2018. The $2.3 million increase primarily reflects the improved operating results, a $0.1 million foreign currency gain in the current year as compared with a $2.2 million foreign currency loss for the year ended 2018 and the absence of $1.0 million in costs related to refinancing the Company's credit facility in 2018.

These increases were partially offset by a $5.0 million increase in depreciation and amortization due largely to the addition of the National Geographic Venture to the fleet in December 2018, a $2.7 million non-cash deemed dividend related to completing the warrant exchange, a $1.6 million increase in income tax expense and $1.5 million of increased interest expense primarily associated with building the two new blue water vessels.

Adjusted EBITDA

Full Year Adjusted EBITDA of $66.6 million increased $11.8 million, or 21%, as compared to 2018. The increase was driven by growth of $10.2 million at the Lindblad segment and $1.6 million at Natural Habitat.

Lindblad segment Adjusted EBITDA of $58.0 million increased $10.2 million, or 21%, as compared to 2018 as the increased tour revenues, lower drydock costs and a decline in value added tax expense were partially offset primarily by operating costs on the National Geographic Venture. 2019 also included higher marketing spend to drive long-term growth initiatives, increased commission expense related to booking growth and higher personnel costs.

Natural Habitat Adjusted EBITDA of $8.6 million increased $1.6 million, or 23%, as compared to 2018 as the revenue growth was partially offset by increased operating costs related to additional departures and higher marketing and personnel costs to drive long-term growth initiatives.

FOURTH QUARTER RESULTS

Tour Revenues

Fourth quarter tour revenues of $75.8 million increased $5.2 million, or 7%, as compared to the same period in 2018. The increase was driven by growth of $3.0 million at the Lindblad segment and a $2.1 million increase at Natural Habitat.

Lindblad segment tour revenues of $54.9 million increased $3.0 million, or 6%, compared to the fourth quarter a year ago primarily driven by a 13% increase in Available Guest Nights, mostly from the launch of the National Geographic Venture in December 2018 and fewer planned drydock days in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to timing. The increase in Available Guest Nights was partially offset by the impact of a 6% decline in Net Yield and a decrease in Occupancy to 88% primarily due to additional shoulder season itineraries across the U.S. fleet.

Natural Habitat revenues of $20.9 million increased $2.1 million, or 11%, compared to a year ago due primarily to higher ticket revenue from additional departures, increased travelers and itinerary changes that drove higher average pricing.

Net Income

Net loss available to common stockholders for the fourth quarter was $1.5 million, $0.03 per diluted share, as compared with a loss of $4.6 million, $0.10 per diluted share, in the fourth quarter of 2018. The $3.2 million improvement versus a year ago primarily reflects improved operating results and a $1.3 million foreign currency gain in the current quarter as compared with a $0.7 million foreign currency loss in the fourth quarter of 2018. These increases were partially offset primarily by a $1.5 million increase in depreciation and amortization due largely to the addition of the National Geographic Venture to the fleet in December 2018.

Adjusted EBITDA

Fourth quarter Adjusted EBITDA of $8.0 million increased $3.9 million, or 94%, as compared to the same period in 2018. The increase was driven by growth of $2.9 million at the Lindblad segment and $1.0 million at Natural Habitat.

Lindblad segment Adjusted EBITDA of $3.2 million increased $2.9 million compared to the fourth quarter a year ago as the increased tour revenues, lower drydock costs and a decline in value added tax expense were partially offset primarily by higher operating costs on the National Geographic Venture and increased marketing spend to drive long-term growth initiatives.

Natural Habitat Adjusted EBITDA of $4.8 million increased $1.0 million, or 26%, versus the fourth quarter a year ago as the revenue growth was partially offset by higher operating costs related to the additional departures and increased marketing and personnel costs to drive long-term growth initiatives.

Outlook

As of February 18, 2020, Lindblad segment bookings for travel during 2020 have increased 26% as compared with bookings for 2019 as of the same date a year ago. Additionally, the Lindblad segment had 86% of full year 2020 projected guest ticket revenues on the books versus 87% of full year 2019 guest ticket revenue at the same time last year.

Given the destinations the company's visit and the geographies where it sources guests, the company currently anticipates limited direct impact from the COVID-19 Coronavirus.

However, at this time it is too early to estimate the potential indirect impact resulting from any decreased demand for travel related to the outbreak. The Company's financial performance could be materially impacted by this indirect impact if booking patterns change significantly moving forward," said a statement. 

 

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