Q1 Earnings: Royal Caribbean Continues Record 2018

Symphony of the Seas Float Out
The launch of Symphony of the Seas, along with other cruise ships, will position the company nicely heading into 2019, said Fain.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s record-setting booked position for 2018 is continuing, the cruise company said in its just-released first quarter earnings report.

The parent company of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises said that its overall booked position remains at a record level for full-year 2018, beating last year’s numbers in terms of both rate and volume. Adjusted earnings are expected to beat initial guidance, in the range of $8.70 to $8.90 per share, and net yields are expected to increase 2 percent to 2.75 percent on a constant currency basis. Net cruise costs, excluding fuel, are expected to be up approximately 2.5 percent on a constant currency basis.

For the first quarter, the cruise company’s GAAP net income was $218.7 million, while it’s adjusted net income as $232.8 million. That’s up from GAAP and adjusted net income of $214.7 million in 2017. On a constant currency basis, gross yields were up 3.1 percent and net yields were up 4.9 percent. Gross cruise costs increased 5 percent on a constant currency basis, while net cruise costs excluding fuel were up 11.2 percent on a constant currency basis.

In a written statement Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain said that the market is continuing to support the company’s growth. Looking ahead to 2019, the strength of the market plus a number of new cruise ships debuting this year – including Symphony of the Seas, Azamara Pursuit, Mein Schiff 1 and Celebrity Edge – will position the company nicely, according to Fain.

“Revenues continue to excel and expenses, even including some new demand generating initiatives, continue to be carefully controlled,” added Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO.

Looking ahead to the second quarter, Royal Caribbean warned that an unusually strong market in 2017 and the timing of the Easter vacation period will make for a difficult year-over-year comparison. Nevertheless, the company said that it expects constant currency net yields to be up in the range of 1.5 percent to 2 percent. Constant currency net cruise costs are expected to be up approximately 5 percent, which the company said is the result of additional drydock days, product investments and demand generating activities.

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