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Lindblad's revenues balloon but Q1 loss widens on restart costs

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Though revenues soared, Lindblad Expeditions' first quarter loss widened due to restart costs with nine of 10 owned ships now in service.

The company reported substantial advance reservations espite some continued short-term impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, including elevated cancellations and softness in near-term demand, as well as itinerary changes on a few upcoming voyages due to the Russia-Ukraine war. Bookings for the second half of 2022 are 50% ahead of the bookings for the second half of 2019, and bookings for 2023 are 32% ahead of the bookings for the full year 2020 at the same point in 2019.

Short-term headwinds

'There will continue to be some short-term headwinds as we emerge from the pandemic and as we reschedule several upcoming itineraries due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict,' CEO Dolf Berle said. 'However, with guest demand accelerating and expanded earnings power from a growing fleet that includes our two new polar ships, already receiving rave reviews from our guests, and a diverse product portfolio that has expanded our addressable market, we are very well situated to deliver results well ahead of pre-pandemic levels in the years ahead.'

$43m net loss

Net loss available to stockholders was $43m, or 85 cents per share, compared to $34.6m, or 66 cents per share, in Q1 2021. The decrease mainly reflects the ramp-up in operations. Revenues ballooned $66m, to $67.8m, driven by a $49.8m increase at the Lindblad segment and a $16.3m million increase at the land experiences segment. The land segment also includes a full quarter of results for Off the Beaten Path and DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co., acquired during Q1 2021, and Classic Journeys, acquired during the Q4 2021.

Galápagos rights extended

Lindblad is set to introduce National Geographic Islander II in the Galápagos Islands during the third quarter. The renovated ship (formerly Crystal Esprit) will carry 48 passengers, as does the National Geographic Islander it replaces.

In February the company further solidified its ability to operate in the Galápagos by extending its existing cupos for an additional 20-year period.

$360m notes and new $45m revolving credit facility

On Feb. 4, the company issued $360m of 6.75% senior secured notes, maturing 2027 and entered into a new $45m revolving credit facility, including a letter of credit sub-facility in an aggregate principal amount of up to $5m. Proceeds from the notes were used primarily to pay the outstanding borrowings under an existing credit agreement, including the term facility, Main Street Loan and revolving credit facility.

As of March 31, Lindblad had $154.8m in unrestricted cash and $30m in restricted cash mainly related to deposits on future travel originating from US ports and credit card reserves. Total debt was $584.1m.

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