Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL Corporation Ltd., “Norwegian” or “the Company”) today reported results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2010.
EBITDA for the second quarter of 2010 improved 12.6% to $94.7 million versus $84.2 million for the same period in 2009 (a 12.1% increase on an adjusted basis, to $95.7 million from $85.4 million). An improvement in Net Yield of 6.6% in the quarter resulted in Net Revenue increasing to $364.7 million from $353.9 million despite a 3.3% decrease in Capacity Days in the quarter due to the departure of Norwegian Majesty from the fleet in October 2009. The increase in Net Yield came from both improved passenger ticket pricing and increased onboard revenue per Capacity Day. Occupancy Percentage for the quarter was 109.2%. Net loss for the quarter was $14.9 million on revenue of $477.9 million compared to net income of $15.4 million on revenue of $478.4 million in 2009. The net loss in 2010 included a non-recurring charge of $33.1 million related to foreign exchange contracts associated with the financing of Norwegian Epic. Excluding this non-recurring charge, net income for the period was $18.2 million.
Net Cruise Cost for the second quarter was essentially flat year over year. On a per Capacity Day basis, Net Cruise Cost increased 3.5% primarily due to higher average fuel costs in the period and fewer capacity days as a result of the departure of Norwegian Majesty. Average fuel cost per metric ton in the period climbed to $508 in 2010 from $356 in 2009. Net Cruise Cost Excluding Fuel per Capacity Day decreased 2.3%.
“The results for the quarter demonstrate that we are continuing to build momentum,” said Kevin Sheehan, chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line. “Our improved results over last year were achieved while absorbing a 43% increase in the price of fuel,” said Sheehan.
Interest expense, net of capitalized interest, increased to $37.0 million in the quarter compared to $26.6 million in 2009 due to higher average interest rates in the period. Other expense increased to $33.8 million in 2010 versus $4.3 million in 2009 primarily due to the aforementioned loss on foreign exchange contracts.
Updates and Outlook
Last month the Company took delivery of Norwegian Epic, its largest, most innovative Freestyle Cruising vessel to date. With 21 dining options, an equal number of bars and lounges, and an entertainment lineup which includes venues housing world-renown acts such as Blue Man Group and Legends in Concert in the Epic Theater, Cirque Dreams and DinnerTM in the Spiegel Tent, The Second City Comedy Troupe and Howl at the Moon at Headliners and Nickelodeon at Sea entertainment throughout the ship, Norwegian Epic has brought the Company’s Freestyle Cruising offering to a new level. “The depth and breadth of choices and activities on board Norwegian Epic is unparalleled in the industry,” said Sheehan.
After inaugural events in Rotterdam and Southampton, Norwegian Epic took guests on a maiden transatlantic voyage to New York City, where she became the largest vessel ever to dock in Manhattan. In a spectacular ceremony, Norwegian Epic was formally christened by her Godmother, country music icon and Freestyle Cruising fan Reba McEntire. After a successful two-night christening voyage, Norwegian Epic returned to Manhattan to serve as the host site for NBC’s top-rated broadcast of the Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular on the Hudson River. Added Sheehan, “We could not have asked for a better way to introduce Norwegian Epic to the world. From the delighted looks on guests’ faces and the tremendous positive feedback we’ve received from those who sailed on her, we know that all the hard work and dedication by all of Norwegian’s team members has created something truly special.” Regarding her bookings, Sheehan commented, “Norwegian Epic has been booking extremely well, setting records week after week since her introduction in Europe and subsequent inaugural events in New York and Miami.” Norwegian Epic is currently sailing alternating 7-day Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries on Saturdays from the Port of Miami through April 2011, when she will then reposition to start her summer Mediterranean season out of Barcelona.
The second half of 2010 is showing solid improvements in pricing from 2009 levels with load factors consistent with prior year. Unlike this same time last year, the Company has been successful at holding price while balancing load factor. The booking curve continues to be healthy, but has narrowed from the highest levels achieved in the first quarter of 2010.
Terminology and Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Berths. Double occupancy per cabin even though many cabins can accommodate three or more passengers.
Capacity Days. Berths multiplied by the number of cruise days for the period.
EBITDA. Earnings before interest, other income (expense) including taxes, impairment loss, and depreciation and amortization.
Gross Cruise Cost. The sum of total cruise operating expense and marketing, general and administrative expense.
Gross Yield. Total revenue per Capacity Day.
Net Cruise Cost. Gross Cruise Cost less commissions, transportation and other expense and onboard and other expense.
Net Cruise Cost Excluding Fuel. Net Cruise Cost less fuel expense.
Net Per Diem. Net Revenue per Passenger Cruise Day.
Net Revenue. Total revenue less commissions, transportation and other expense and onboard and other expense.
Net Yield. Net Revenue per Capacity Day.
Occupancy Percentage or Load Factor. The ratio of Passenger Cruise Days to Capacity Days. A percentage in excess of 100% indicates that three or more passengers occupied some cabins.
Passenger Cruise Days. The number of passengers carried for the period, multiplied by the number of days in their respective cruises.
To supplement the Company’s consolidated financial statements presented in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S., the Company also provides certain non-GAAP financial measures, including EBITDA, Net Revenue, Net Yield, and Net Cruise Cost.
We define EBITDA as earnings before interest, other income (expense) including taxes, impairment loss, and depreciation and amortization and is used by management to measure operating performance of the business. Management believes EBITDA, when considered along with other performance measures, is a useful measure as it reflects certain operating drivers of the Company’s business, such as sales growth, operating costs, marketing, general and administrative expense and other operating income and expense. EBITDA is also one of the measures used by the Company to calculate incentive compensation for management-level employees. This non-GAAP financial measure has certain material limitations, including:
* it does not include net interest expense. As the Company has borrowed money for general
corporate purposes, interest expense is a necessary element of its costs and ability to
generate profits and cash flows; and
* it does not include depreciation and amortization expense. As the Company uses capital
assets, depreciation and amortization are necessary elements of its costs and ability to
generate profits and cash flows.
Management compensates for these limitations by using EBITDA as only one of several measures for evaluating the Company’s business performance. In addition, capital expenditures, which impact depreciation and amortization, interest expense and income tax expense, are reviewed separately by management. Management believes EBITDA can provide a more complete understanding of the underlying operating results and trends and an enhanced overall understanding of the Company’s financial performance and prospects for the future. EBITDA is not intended to be a measure of liquidity or cash flows from operations or measures comparable to net income as it does not take into account certain requirements such as capital expenditures and related depreciation, principal and interest payments and tax payments.
We define Adjusted EBITDA as EBITDA with supplemental adjustments. Each adjustment and the reasons we consider them appropriate for supplemental analysis should be evaluated. In evaluating Adjusted EBITDA, be aware that in the future we may incur expenses similar to the adjustments in this presentation. Our presentation of Adjusted EBITDA should not be construed as an inference that our future results will be unaffected by unusual or non-recurring items. Adjusted EBITDA is not intended to be a measure of liquidity or cash flows from operations or measures comparable to net income as it does not take into account certain requirements such as capital expenditures and related depreciation, principal and interest payments and tax payments, and it is subject to certain additional adjustments. Our use of Adjusted EBITDA may not be comparable to other companies within our industry.
We use certain non-GAAP financial measures, such as Net Revenue, Net Yield and Net Cruise Cost to enable us to analyze our performance. We utilize Net Revenue and Net Yield to manage our business on a day-to-day basis and believe that they are the most relevant measures of our revenue performance because they reflect the revenue earned by us net of significant variable costs and are commonly used in the cruise industry to measure revenue performance. In measuring our ability to control costs in a manner that positively impacts net income, we believe changes in Net Cruise Cost and Net Cruise Cost Excluding Fuel to be the most relevant indicators of our performance and are commonly used in the cruise industry as a measurement of costs. Accordingly, we do not believe that reconciling information for such projected figures would be meaningful. Our use of non-GAAP financial measures may not be comparable to other companies within our industry.