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Viking IPO filing gives insight into financials and growth plans

Cruise operator Viking's F-1 prospectus for a public offering in the US shows a $1.86b loss in 2023 on improving revenues of $4.7b, up from $3.2b in 2022.

The company has applied to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VIK. 

In this preliminary filing Viking did not specify the number of shares it intends to offer but the 292-page document gives insight into the company's performance and plans.

Adjusted EBITDA margin in 2023 was up more than 35%, to $1.09b.

Net yield $506, occupancy 93.7%

Total revenue per passenger was $7,251. Net yield increased to $506 from $473, and occupancy averaged 93.7%, up from 78.4% in 2022.

The company fields 92 vessels including nine ocean ships and two expedition vessels, and carried 650,000 passengers in 2023.

'Viking has always done things differently'

Chairman Torstein Hagen opened the prospectus by stating 'Viking has always done things differently from others in the travel industry,' and went on to attribute the company's success to this.

'We maintain a clear focus on our most relevant customer group: English-speaking travelers aged 55 years old and over, who have the time, money and desire to explore the world. We do not try to be all things to all people, which is why we only offer a single-language experience on board our ships; there are no casinos; and children under 18 are not allowed,' Hagen said.

He also cited a 'well-defined and consistent' product with signature Scandinavian design and the ability to 'deliver a superior product at competitive prices.'

Reliance on direct marketing

Hagen said Viking relies on direct marketing to drive the majority of bookings: 'We have the ability to generate demand rather than wait for third parties to do so for us.' In 2023, more than 50% of passengers booked directly with the company, which has a database of 56m North American households.

And Hagen said Viking has been contrarian in investment decisions, using periods of economic downturn or lower consumer demand to secure favorable conditions for its newbuilds.

Newbuild orders, options and new products

Viking has 24 ships on order, with options for 12 more and has started to enter new markets, such as China and elsewhere in Asia, 'where we see significant growth potential over the long term,' Hagen said. (Viking registered a $7.3m loss for part of its China joint venture activities in 2023.)

'Additionally, just as we have expanded our travel platform throughout our history, we are exploring other products, such as safaris and land tours, that would allow our guests to explore more of the world in Viking comfort.'


For Viking's core products, operating capacity is 5% higher for the 2024 season compared to 2023 and 12% higher for 2025 compared to 2024. For core products, for the 2024, 2025 and 2026 seasons, as of March 31 Viking had sold 87%, 32% and 4%, respectively, of capacity (passenger cruise days) and had $4.4b, $2.08b and $340m respectively, of advance bookings.

These advance bookings are 13%, 43% and 54% higher compared to the 2023, 2024 and 2025 seasons, respectively, at the same point in time. The rate for advance bookings per PCD for 2024 was $750, 9% higher than the 2023 season, and for 2025 was $860, 12% higher than the 2024 season.


The principal shareholder is Viking Capital, whose sole shareholder is Pallice Global, wholly owned by a trust where Torstein Hagen is the sole beneficiary during his lifetime. Daughter Karine Hagen is the current protector of the trust.

Selling shareholders are the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and TPG, with each initially purchasing $250m in Series A preference shares in October 2016. In July 2017, each bought $86m of Viking's Series B preference shares. In February 2021, Series C preference shares were issued, with CPP and TPG each taking half in exchange for cash consideration of $700m and Viking's repurchase of the outstanding Series A and B shares.

During the pandemic, in November 2020, Viking got a $500m equity boost from CPP and TPG.