NCLH beats Q2 forecasts on higher pricing, raises full-year guidance

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings shot past forecasts, posting a second quarter adjusted profit of $1.21 per share, and lifted full-year earnings per share guidance to a range of $4.70 to $4.80.

Adjusted net income was $271.9m, up from $232.7m, or $1.02 per share, in the prior year. That was 19 cents higher than the company's May forecast and the Wall Street consensus. US GAAP net income was $226.7m, or $1.01 EPS, up from $198.5m, or 87 cents EPS.

Revenue rises 13.2%

Total revenue ballooned 13.2% to $1.5bn. Net yield increased 4% on a constant currency basis, outperforming guidance by 200 basis points.

NCLH expects to generate record earnings for full year 2018 and raised its outlook above the high end of its previous guidance range of $4.55 to $4.70 with the new $4.70 to $4.80 range. This includes an expected 10-cent impact, split evenly between revenue and expense, as a result of the recently announced itinerary optimization initiatives which will benefit future periods.

Excluding this impact, the midpoint of adjusted EPS guidance would have increased to approximately $4.85.

Robust booking environment

'The continuation of the robust booking environment from our core source markets, combined with the successful execution of demand creation strategies, drove higher pricing across all three brands, resulting in second quarter revenue, yield and earnings growth well above expectations,' NCLH president and CEO Frank Del Rio said.

'Global consumer cruise demand shows no signs of slowing as evidenced by solid organic growth and the hugely successful introduction of Norwegian Bliss, whose record-breaking performance surpassed our high expectations,' Del Rio continued. The strong demand environment is expected to continue driving higher pricing in the back half of the year, leading to the higher guidance.

Occupancy and pricing ahead for 2019

'2018 is well on track for yet another year of record financial performance. Furthermore, robust global demand has accelerated year-over-year gains in occupancy and pricing for full year 2019, which remains well ahead of this year’s record levels across all three brands,' Del Rio said.

'We have a high level of confidence and strong conviction in our outlook for 2019 and beyond as demonstrated by our recent global redeployment initiatives, the bolstering of our measured growth profile with the confirmation of two additional Leonardo-class ships for delivery in 2026 and 2027, as well as the opportunistic execution of $200 million in share repurchases in the quarter, bringing the year-to-date total for share repurchases to over $450 million.'

Third quarter adjusted EPS is estimated at approximately $2.20.

Posted 09 August 2018

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Anne Kalosh

US editor of Seatrade Cruise Review and Seatrade Cruise News

 Europe Exhibitor