NCL 1999 Q1 Numbers

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) bas announced net income of $1 million on revenues of $198.2 million for the first quarter ended March 31, 1999, compared to a net loss of $5.7 million on revenues of $154 million for the first quarter of 1998.

NCL attributed increased revenues to higher per diems and increased capacity following the lengthening of the Norwegian Dream and Wind and the addition of Orient Lines, which the company acquired in July of 1998, while the Norwegian Majesty was out of service for 100 days in the first quarter due to the ship also being stretched.

NCL reported a first-quarter load factor of 101.3 percent for NCL and 74.3 percent for Orient Lines for a combined fleetwide occupancy level of 99 percent. However, the capacity of the Marco Polo was limited to 67 percent on January and February Antarctic sailings.

Last year, NCL reported a load factor of 95.1 percent.

In related news, NCL is making a private placement of $62 million in convertible bonds. At six percent interest, the bonds can be converted into NCL shares after three years at NOK 27 per share.

In addition, after seven months, investors may convert 50 percent of the bonds at market price and all the bonds after 12 months.

The proceeds from the bond offering will be used to repay debt and replace it with long-term financing at a lower cost.

Another cash infusion may come from the expected sale and lease-back of the Aida which is on charter to a German operator.

Plans also call for a U.S. listing of NCL shares in 1999; continuation of the company’s newbuilding program; refurbishment of the Norway and the Norwegian Sea; and an additional ship for Orient Lines.

NCL beat analysts’ expectations, which were in the range of a $4 million loss.

At press time, NCL was up slightly, trading at NOK 18.30.

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