Royal Caribbean Reports Higher Quarterly Earnings, Strong Caribbean Bookings

Allure of the Seas // Photo by Susan J. Young
Allure of the Seas // Photo by Susan J. Young

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL), the world's second largest cruise company, reported higher income and yields for the second quarter 2015 in its regular quarterly earnings report. 

In its press release the company said that "commercially, the business continues to perform as expected and the biggest drivers of our increased guidance are better foreign exchange and fuel rates." It reported adjusted second quarter 2015 net income of $185 million, versus $147 million for the same period a year ago. 

Royal Caribbean said net yields were up 4.3 percent, modestly better than the financial guidance previously given. That was mostly driven by strength in the Caribbean and China. Net cruise costs, however, were up 3.4 percent due to timing, the line said. 

RCL also said net yields for the full year 2015 are expected to increase in the range of 2.9 percent to 3.9 percent. 

"We continue to focus on the strength of our brands to drive these improving results," said Richard Fain, RCL's chairman and CEO. 

Strength in the Caribbean

"RCL notes healthy booking trends since April, with strength in the Caribbean more than offsetting softness in Latin America," financial analyst Robin Farley, UBS Investment Research, told her firm's investors in a note.  

In its earnings press release, the company said increased costs in the second half of the year are for some additional marketing activities focused on 2016.

The good news, though is evident. "Bookings since the April earnings call have been healthy and the company continues to be booked ahead of last year in both load factor and APD (average per diem)," the company's press release said. "A solid Caribbean environment is more than off-setting softness on Latin American sailings associated with our Pullmantur brand."

Jason Liberty, RCL's chief financial officer, said, "Momentum in the Caribbean continues at a solid pace, and our strong booked position in the third and fourth quarters gives us confidence as we move through the second half of 2015. The trajectory of our brands is firmly on course for another record year of earnings, with healthy trends extending into the first quarter of 2016."

While it is too early to provide a detailed picture for 2016, the cruise company said, it noted that "first quarter bookings are running well ahead of last year at higher prices, with improvements in the Caribbean continuing at a robust pace."



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