NCLH Reports Higher Earnings, Surging Caribbean Demand and Strong Bookings

Norwegian Getaway is one of the ships in the fleet for Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which sees surging Caribbean demand and a strong booking environment. // Photo by Susan J. Young

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., (NCLH), parent company of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, reported financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2015, and provided guidance for the third quarter and full year 2015.

Second Quarter 2015 Highlights

Highlights of the line's second quarter? The company had a 29.3 percent improvement in adjusted earnings per share on adjusted net income of $171.6 million, up 1.5 percent from the previous year. Adjusted net yields rose 18.2 percent -- mainly due to the addition of the Oceania and Regent brands in the fourth quarter. 

The company also said "continued synergy identification efforts" after the recent integration of Norwegian and Prestige have led to synergies of $75 million in 2015 and $125 million in 2016. 

"The benefits of the combination of Norwegian and Prestige are beginning to hit their full stride, resulting in strong earnings growth in the quarter,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “Many of the strategies we have previously communicated are gaining more and more traction, from the weaving of Prestige’s 'go to market' strategy into the Norwegian brand’s pricing and marketing practices, to the focus on adding value for our guests in lieu of discounting, in addition to leveraging our scale to maximize cost efficiencies."

Other gleanings? NCLH said that the strong booking environment that began with the 2015 Wave Season has continued into the second and third quarters, with volumes continually outpacing the same time last year.

"Looking to 2016, resurgence in Caribbean demand, combined with the strong booking environment, has resulted in 30 percent more booked revenue compared to the same time last year on a capacity increase of approximately 11 percent," the company said in its earnings press release. 

"Building on the strong results for the first half of the year, we are raising the midpoint of our 2015 full year earnings guidance,” said Wendy Beck, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. “While still early in the 2016 booking cycle, we have seen strong demand across all three brands,” continued Beck.

Robin Farley, a UBS Investment Research analyst, in evaluating the earnings report, also said: "NCLH will enter the China-sourcing market as early as 2017, so plans will be announced sooner than spring 2016."

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