Norwegian Cruise Line has reported a sharp today turnaround in fortunes, with net profits in the second quarter rising to $15.4m from a loss of $27m in the same quarter last year.
The improvements came despite a drop in net revenue of 9.3% from $525m to $478.4m. This decline resulted from a 7.7% decrease in net yield due to continued weakness in passenger ticket pricing, and a 1.8% decrease in capacity days, resulting from the withdrawal of Norwegian Dream from the company’s fleet in November 2008.
Occupancy percentage was up marginally to 109.6% compared to 107.9%, following the trend in the first quarter of 2009, is the highest for a second quarter since the introduction of the Company’s first purpose-built Freestyle Cruising ship.
“I am very pleased with our performance this quarter especially given the current economic climate. Despite the weakness in ticket pricing, we are continuing to achieve improvements in our earnings and have begun to demonstrate consistency in our performance,” said Kevin Sheehan, chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.
“Our continuing razor focus on all aspects of our operation, from revenue management to shipboard and shoreside operations, has resulted in record-setting EBITDA for the quarter and an enormous turnaround from our performance just a year ago. Our entire organization has rallied together to achieve these excellent results.”
Capacity for the remainder of 2009 is substantially booked, although at prices below last year, particularly in the third quarter. “Although I believe we are moving beyond the low point with regard to ticket pricing, we must maintain our diligence in controlling costs and carrying out our strategic initiatives,” said Sheehan.
Norwegian’s next generation Freestyle Cruising ship, Norwegian Epic, was recently floated out of her dry-dock to the outfitting dock where work on the interior spaces of the ship has commenced. “Norwegian Epic, with her focus on entertainment, wide range of accommodations and 20 dining options, has created a lot of excitement and anticipation in the marketplace,” said Sheehan. “We are looking forward to her delivery next summer. Sailings through April 2011 are open for sale and the response from the public has been very positive to date.”