Kempa: ‘Total Return’ on Newbuild Order Very Favorable

Norwegian Prima Funnel

Mark Kempa, executive vice president and CFO, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, said on an investor call Tuesday morning that with the company’s newbuild orderbook solidified, it can now focus on near-term priorities.

Kempa said the new ships, which are bigger than previous generations, would provide better returns and the company is focused on the total return of the vessel over a operating period of 30 to 40 years.

He also said that cruise ships required minimal capital investments; explaining the payback period would be as little as five years.

“The total return economics look very favorable,” he said, admitting that newbuild costs, like everything else, had gone up.

He said it wasn’t only about the cost of the ship, but how the company operates it and value engineers it.

He reminded the Wall Street analyst community that ship financing is attractive, with only 1 percent due at contract signing and 20 percent due prior to delivery, usually in spaced out segments.

He said for the company’s Oceania and Regent newbuilds, the line was able secure financing that covered 80 percent of pre-delivery payments.

“Cash outlay is minimal,” he said.

As far as total cost, Kempa said the company’s decision to order bigger ships meant the newbuilds would provide significant economics.


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