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Costa orders 132,500 gross ton newbuilding – represents new class

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Costa Crociere S.p.A., Italy’s largest tourism group and Europe’s no. 1 cruise company, has placed a new order with Fincantieri S.p.A. for the construction of a new cruise ship.

The new ship ordered today, with a gross tonnage of 132,500, 3,700 lower berths, 4,928 total capacity and 1,854 cabins, will be the largest Italian cruise ship and the 10th ship ordered from Fincantieri by Costa Cruises in the past 10 years. The new flagship in the Costa fleet and the Italian passenger fleet will be built at the Fincantieri in Marghera (Venice), for a total ship owner’s all-in cost of approximately €150,000 per lower berth. Delivery is planned for October 2014. The new ship will be an innovative evolution of the "Concordia-class”, developed by integrating and improving the main features of the latest successful Costa ships entered into service. This new ship order is subject to financing.

At the same time Costa Crociere S.p.A. also announced the sale of the Costa Marina, which has been in service for more than 20 years, and as of November 2011 will no longer be part of the fleet.

NCL Corporation steams ahead to $29.2 million second quarter profit

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

NCL Corporation Ltd., which trades as Norwegian Cruise Line and NCL America, reported net income for the second quarter of 2011 of $29.2 million on revenue of $568.6 million compared to a net loss of $14.9 million on revenue of $477.9 million in 2010. Regarding the Company's second quarter results, Norwegian Cruise Line President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin Sheehan commented, "I' m pleased to see continued strong Net Yield growth throughout the fleet." Continued Sheehan, "Controllable costs were kept in check despite this environment of high fuel prices, while initiatives aimed at improving the guest experience resulted in record satisfaction scores in the quarter."

“As the Company continues to increase the sourcing of foreign passengers and deploy more vessels outside of North America, foreign currency fluctuations have an increasing effect on our financial results.  For the second quarter of 2011, on a Constant Currency basis, the increase in Net Yield from the same period in 2010 was 3.4%.  On a Constant Currency basis, Net Cruise Cost per Capacity day increased 0.7% and excluding fuel expense, decreased 1.6%,” the company said. In a statement.

Interest expense, net of capitalized interest, increased to $46.7 million in the quarter compared to $37.0 million in 2010 due to increased borrowings attributable to the addition of Norwegian Epic. Other expense was $0.3 million in 2011 compared to $33.8 million in 2010 which included a $33.1 million charge for foreign exchange contracts related to the financing of Norwegian Epic.

Adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011 increased 29.0% to $123.5 million from $95.7 million in the same period of 2010 on improved revenue performance and continued business improvement initiatives.  Net Revenue for the quarter increased 19.8% to $418.0 million from $349.0 million in 2010 as a result of a 14.9% increase in Capacity Days, due to the addition of Norwegian Epic to the fleet in June 2010, along with an improvement in Net Yield of 4.2%.  The increase in Net Yield was a result of both higher passenger ticket pricing and increased onboard spend per Capacity Day. 

Net Cruise Cost per Capacity Day increased 1.1% in the second quarter primarily due to an increase in the price of fuel along with Dry-dock related costs substantially offset by business improvement initiatives. The price of fuel in the second quarter increased 17.1% to $595 per metric ton from $508 in 2010. Excluding fuel expense, Net Cruise Cost per Capacity Day decreased 1.1%.


Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines returns to profit in second quarter

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, which operates four ships on the UK market, returned to profit in second quarter of the year after losses caused by dry docking of two ships in the same period last year, according to Ganger Rolf ASA, which owns 50% of the shares in the cruise company.

Net profit amounted to NOK26 million compared to a NOK 34 million loss in the second quarter of last year.

Operating revenues in the quarter were NOK417 million (NOK 391 million). “The comparison with last year is distorted by the 2010 dockings of MV Balmoral (12 days in April/May) and MV Braemar (10 daysin May) and lower exchange rate for GBP against NOK,” Ganger Rolf said.

“Number of passenger days total 336 422(310 911) for the quarter and passenger yields have improved as a result of a yield-focused pricing strategy. Higher price on fuel oil (25% higher compared to last year) in the quarter impacted the result negatively compared with last year. Year to date the revenues were NOK 857 million (NOK 795 million) andEBITDA were NOK 100 million (NOK 96 million), Ganger Rolf stated.


All Leisure group cuts first half loss slightly to £4.2 million

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

AllLeisure group, the listed UK based company that entails Swan Hellenic,Voyages ofDiscovery and Hebridean Island Cruises brands, reduced its net loss to £42million in the first six months of the year from £4.5 million in the same period in 2010. Revenues increased to £34.8 million from £32.8 million. Cash and unrestricted bank deposits decreased to £7.0 million on 30 June from £15.2million a year ago, while shareholders’ equity fell to £22.6 million from £25.6 million a year previously.

Commenting on the business outlook, Roger Allard, chairman said:” Despite the economic environment, remaining Summer 2011 capacity is currently 86% sold, including charters,(2010: 84%). However, these load factors have been achieved at lower yields and against a higher cost base.”

“Furthermore we envisage that fuel costs over the year will continue to rise and are now, in sterling terms, at their highest ever levels. Accordingly we believe fuel costs will be £1.3m higher than the previous financial year, and due to the continued weak UK economic environment it has not been possible to pass on this increase.”

The small Swan Hellenic river cruise programme for Summer 2011 has sold very well. ForWinter 2011/12 both mv Discovery and Minerva will be sailing to the Far-Eastbut it is also planned for mv Minerva to go into a dry dock.

“In addition to continued geo-political unrest, unprecedented natural disasters,the current global economic environment and continued low UK interest rates,the last six months has also seen no alleviation of the adverse cost environment that the Group is operating in – a situation primarily caused bythe weakness of sterling. Despite the difficult cost environment, it is encouraging that the strength of our brands and quality of our customer service have secured strong booking levels and for this reason I am confident that shareholders will see a significant improvement in returns once the adverse economic and exchange rate environment finally abates,” Allard said.

RCCL says woes on Mediterranean region turmoil deepen

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

The ongoing conflicts in the Eastern Mediterranean and its spillover effects continues to create hesitation around travel to the region, says Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL), the second largest cruise shipping group in the world. However, other sectors of its business perform well.

“Some of this was already evident at the time of the company's last guidance.However, during the second quarter, the civil unrest in the EasternMediterranean expanded to other areas including Syria and Greece and the level of concern amongst travelers grew as tensions in the region dominated the headlines. This has resulted in a full year yield reduction of approximately150 basis points versus April guidance.”

Net Yields for the Mediterranean are now expected to be down approximately 4% for the year, which is in stark contrast with the rest of the company's portfolio.The impact related to the events in Japan was reasonably clear by the time ofthe last guidance. The impact on bookings was immediate, but the situation has now stabilized. The guidance for 2011 has not changed materially from previous guidance and the outlook going forward is very positive.

“In a reversal of the trends observed in April, the company's revenues have been negatively influenced by the strengthening of the U.S. Dollar relative to other currencies. Assuming current currency exchange rates, the company expects Net Yields for the full year on an as-reported basis to decline approximately 50 basis points from its previous guidance as a result of currency.”

The company noted that with the exception of the Eastern Mediterranean, it continues to observe strong demand for its products, especially the Caribbean,Alaska and Northern Europe. The strength of this demand (both rate and volume)reinforces that Eastern Mediterranean pricing softness this summer appears to be geopolitically related and that the economic demand for its products is strong. Further supporting this premise, excluding the Mediterranean, NetYields for the year are expected to be up approximately 8% (approximately 6% ona Constant-Currency basis), RCCL said.

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