'Positive momentum' returns Royal Caribbean to black

'Positive momentum' returns Royal Caribbean to black

Royal Caribbean Cruises returned to the black for the three months to June 30 with a quarterly profit of $24.7 million.

This compared to a loss of $3.7 million in the same period last year and came despite a fire on board Grandeur of the Seas and a strengthening of the US dollar.

The company said it is working on opportunities to improve its global sales, marketing and general and administrative cost structure to “further leverage economies of scale”.

Chief financial officer Jason Liberty said: "The profitability improvement measures are designed to result in long-term cost savings and further revenue improvements that will benefit 2014 and beyond.

"We will likely incur some one-time charges in 2013 related to these actions, but we are confident that the increase in efficiency will be well worth it."

Chairman and chief executive Richard Fain said: "It is rewarding to see things coming together. While the operating environment has been frustrating, our bookings trajectory is looking good and I'm thrilled to see our cost initiatives beginning to pay off.

"Exploiting this positive momentum will help us take our returns and our profitability to the next level.”

Yields are expected to increase 2% to 3% for the full year although China sailings have been affected by the conflict between China and Japan and Caribbean cruises have had to be discounted.

“Despite ongoing discounting in the region, the company's Caribbean forecast was only modestly impacted and demand remains solid,” the parent company of brands such as Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises said.

“Europe continues to demonstrate year-over-year improvement, with net ticket yields expected to increase in the mid-single digits for the year. In aggregate, both pricing and booked load factors are higher for the second half of the year than at the same time last year.”

Onboard revenues have benefited from improved US consumer spending and the new onboard venues added through the revamping of ships.

The number of passengers carried in the three months declined slightly from 1.183 million last year to 1.174 million although the cost of fuel reduced.

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