Norwegian sails into first quarter profit

Norwegian sails into first quarter profit

Norwegian Cruise Line was able to move into profit for the first three months of the year despite the Costa Concordia disaster affecting profitability at rival lines.

The company posted net income of $3.3 million on revenue of $515.4 million in the three months to March against a loss of $7.9 million on revenue of $495.5 million in the same period in 2011.

This compared with Costa parent Carnival Corporation posting a first quarter loss of  $139 million and Royal Caribbean Cruises seeing profits for the three months halved to $47 million over the equivalent quarter a year earlier.

Norwegian said operating income for the period grew 23.8% to $46.4 million, with adjusted Ebitda rising by 10.3% to $93.5 million.

This was attributed to strong revenue performance and the benefits of ongoing business improvement initiatives.

Net yield was up by 2.3% as a result of higher average ticket prices across the fleet coupled with increased onboard spend and other revenue, particularly in tour and gaming operations.

The timing of repairs and maintenance expenses coupled with benefits from business initiatives and improved efficiencies offset a 15% increase in the per metric ton cost of fuel to $598 from $520, Norwegian said.

Presdient and chief executive Kevin Sheehan said: “It is always rewarding to report strong top-to-bottom results.

“Revenue growth was very positive, considering the impact of redeploying Norwegian Jade in late 2011 due to geopolitical disruptions in Egypt and the surrounding region.”

He added that planning and construction on new sister ships Norwegian Breakaway and Getaway are progressing on schedule and on budget.

“It’s extremely exciting to see these vessels taking shape knowing that the finished product will take the Norwegian brand to another new level,” said Sheehan.

Norwegian Breakaway is due to enter service next summer from New York after inaugural celebrations in Southampton on April 29, 2013. Norwegian Getaway will be based year-round in Miami from spring 2014.

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