Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH), the world third largest cruise shipping group, has raised its 2018 full year earnings per share (EPS) forecast to $4.85 from an earlier forecast of $4.70 to $4.80.
“The Company expects to generate record earnings in full year 2018 and has increased its outlook above the high-end of its previous guidance range. Adjusted EPS is now expected to be approximately $4.85, which is inclusive of the previously announced impact from itinerary optimisation initiatives which will benefit future periods,” the company said in a statement.
“The robust booking environment for cruise vacations is alive and well as evidenced by our stellar booked position for 2019, which continues to exceed this year’s record levels, with booking momentum accelerating for sailings throughout 2019 and extending into 2020,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
“We are well-positioned to achieve the three-year double-digit Adjusted EPS CAGR (compound annual growth rate), net leverage and Adjusted ROIC (return on invested capital) targets provided at our 2018 Investor Day, while at the same time returning meaningful capital to shareholders, despite rising fuel prices and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates.”
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH), the world third largest cruise shipping group, has reported strong figures for both the third quarter and the first nine months of the year on strong demand.
Net profit rose to $470.4 million in the third quarter from $400.7 million year on as EBIT increased to $550 .3 million from $476.3 million. Revenues rose to $1.86 billion from $1.65 billion.
In the January-September period, the net profit of the company reached $800.2 million compared to $661.0 million year on, while EBIT reached $1.00 billion from $871.6 million and revenues climbed to $4.67 billion from $4.15 billion.
“Our three brands fully benefited from strong demand for peak summer season sailings, with particular strength in premium-priced itineraries in Alaska and Europe, resulting in the highest quarterly revenue and earnings in our history,” said Mark A. Kempa, executive vice president and chief financial officer.
In the third quarter, total cruise operating expense increased 10.8% compared to 2017 primarily due to an increase in capacity days. Gross cruise costs per capacity day increased 4.0% due to higher marketing, general and administrative expenses. Adjusted net cruise cost excluding Fuel per capacity day increased 2.0% on a constant currency basis and 2.1% on an as reported basis.
Carnival Corporation & plc, the US-UK cruise shipping group, said its Chinese joint venture with China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) would acquire two ships from Costa Crociere, a fully owned unit of the Carnival group.
“The first of these ships, the 85,861-ton, 2,210-passenger Costa Atlantica, is scheduled to be transferred to the new Chinese cruise line by the end of 2019. Costa Atlantica’s sister ship, the 2,114-passenger Costa Mediterranea, will be transferred at a date still to be announced,” Carnival said in a statement. Both ships were built early in this millennium in Finland.
Earlier, Fincantieri had said the Chinese joint venture company that would be known as CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited had signed firm orders with CSSC to build two ships.
The contracts that seal the agreements announced in February 2017 concerning the construction of two cruise ships for CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited, which will be the first units of this kind ever built in China for the Chinese market, have been signed, Fincantieri said in a statement.
The design of the ships will be tailored for the specific tastes of the Chinese travelers and for CSSC Carnival Cruise Shipping Limited, the new Chinese cruise brand of the joint venture between Carnival Corporation & plc and CSSC, which will also operate the units. The first delivery is expected in 2023.
“The project, which has a total value of about $1.5 billion, not counting the options for additional four vessels, will be achieved by Shanghai Waigaoqiao Shipbuilding Co., Ltd (SWS), a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC),” Fincantieri added.
The joint venture set up by Fincantieri and CSSC Cruise Technology Development Co. Ltd (CCTD) will grant a technology license of the ship model platform and provide a series of technical services to SWS, including project management activities, supply chain management and sales of fundamental systems and components of the ship.
A memorandum of understanding to build the ships was signed on 22 February 2017 and it replaced a similar document from the previous year. The project was first launched in the autumn 2015, when the Chinese president XI Jinping visited the UK, which is the domicile of Carnival plc.
Following more than four years of planning and 23 months of construction at the skilled hands of thousands of engineers, architects, artisans, designers, contractors, shipyard employees, and the newbuild and Celebrity Cruises teams, on October 31 the brand officially took delivery of Celebrity Edge.
As part of the monumental moment, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain and Celebrity’s President and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo hosted a ceremony aboard Celebrity Edge, while docked in the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. The Celebrity Executive Team were also in attendance along with shipyard officials, including General Manager Laurent Castaing, and 1,377 crew members from 72 different countries.
“The Celebrity team has done an outstanding job and I cannot thank the Chantiers de l’Atlantique team enough for delivering this game-changing ship and for their ongoing partnership,” said Fain. “Their work continues to transform the way our guests experience the world.”
“Today is a very special day for all of us as we have been eagerly anticipating this moment for more than four years,” said Lutoff-Perlo. “There are so many aspects of Celebrity Edge that are more groundbreaking than we could have ever imagined, and it is all a testament to the hard work, creativity and talent of everyone who helped bring this magnificent ship to life.”
“Thanks to the confidence Celebrity Cruises granted us and to the exceptional level of cooperation between our respective teams, we are proud to have designed and built one of the most innovative cruise ships ever,” added Castaing. “This achievement demonstrates once again our capacity to deliver right on time ships of the highest quality to our most demanding customers.”
Following the Celebrity Edge check-signing and delivery ceremony, attendees made their way across the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard for the ceremonial keel laying of Celebrity Apex, where a 762-ton block was lifted in the air and a lucky coin was placed on the dock before the block was lowered into position.
On November 6, 2018, Celebrity Edge will begin her transatlantic voyage to her home port at T25 at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Her inaugural season will be spent sailing alternating 7-night eastern and western Caribbean cruise itineraries, with her Maiden Western Caribbean voyage departing on December 9, 2018, and her Maiden Eastern Caribbean voyage departing on December 16, 2018. Then, in spring of 2019, Celebrity Edge crosses the Atlantic again to offer guests stunning vistas of the Mediterranean with a range of 7- to 11-night sailings visiting iconic cities, including Barcelona and Rome.
Bookings for Celebrity Edge are now open at www.celebritycruises.com/edge or through a travel agent. Celebrity Edge will be joined by her sister ship, Celebrity Apex, in 2020, and two additional ships in the Edge Series will follow in 2021 and 2022.