The Asia-based owner of Crystal Cruises is delaying the launch of new ships while issuing a profits warning due to Covid-19 forcing the suspension of global operations.

Genting Hong Kong confirmed that the delivery of 200-passenger expedition vessel Crystal Endeavor, originally due to be handed over this summer, had been put back by “about a year”.

The arrival of Dream Cruises’ giant 9,500-passenger Global Dream, touted as the world’s largest cruise ship, has also been delayed.

Both vessels are being built at the MV Werften shipyards in Germany, also owned by Genting.

Genting Hong Kong, which operates Crystal Cruises, Dream Cruises and Star Cruises and has interests in a group of German shipyards, disclosed an expected net loss for the six months to June 30 of $600 million against $56.5 million for the corresponding period in 2019.

The company cited the suspension of operations across the group’s three cruise brands and shipbuilding operations at MV Werften’s shipyards as contributing to the deeper half-year losses.

Genting also said it faced “severely restricted” operations at its entertainment and leisure businesses in Manila and Singapore.

“In addition, it has been necessary to make certain impairment provisions in respect of the group’s assets,” the company said.

“It is expected that the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to affect the group’s businesses, as the spread and development of the virus has created significant uncertainty over when authorities in the relevant cruising markets will allow resumption of the cruise travel.

“The company and the group will continue to monitor the evolution of the pandemic carefully and to keep the shareholders duly informed of any material developments as and when they arise.”

Crystal announced two weeks ago the cancellation of all cruises until the end of the year.