The recent IPO and the upcoming introduction of the Norwegian Breakaway will launch Norwegian Cruise Line on a tremendous growth trajectory, said Kevin Sheehan, CEO, on today’s earnings call.

Despite 2012 being a challenging year – with the Concordia incident, European austerity measures and Hurricane Sandy – Norwegian posted net income of $168.6 million for the year, up from $126.9 million last year, and net income of $1.1 million for Q4, up from a loss of $1.9 million last year.

Norwegian had 46 percent of its capacity in the Caribbean and 25 percent in Europe in 2012, and will have 41 percent in the Caribbean and 25 percent in Europe this year – with 18 percent in the Mediterranean and 7 percent in the Baltic and Canary Islands.

So far this year, Sheehan said the company is seeing improved demand and stronger pricing. Sheehan also expects the new ship to help leverage further efficiencies across the fleet. He added that the Breakaway has better advance bookings than the Epic, which had set the stage up to that point, and at better pricing.

As for Europe, it is too early to firm up the outlook, although “we feel pretty decent about the summer,” Sheehan said.

With the Pride of America going into drydock this summer, a scrubber will be installed, allowing the ship to burn the regular bunker fuel. Sheehan said while the cost was significant, the payback was quick.

Other ships that sail in ECA waters will also be equipped with scrubbers.

The earnings guidance for Q1 is from $0.02 to $0.05 per share and for the full year from $1.20 to $1.40.

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