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Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ losses deepen in final quarter

  • Written by Kari Reinikainen
  • Category: Top Headlines

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, which operates four medium sized ships on the British market, has reported a deepening of final quarter loss in 2011 compared to the previous year, while revenues remained stable.

The company booked a net loss of NOK27 million in the last three months of 2011compared to a NOK3 million loss in the same period in 2010. Revenues remained stable at 1.68 billion, parent company Ganger Rolf said in a statement. Higher cost of bunkers was the reason behind weakening of the result, Ganger Rolf said.

The company repaid NOK78 million of dent that amounted to NOK 1.20 billion at the end of last year. Equity in the company amounted to NOK886.4 million at the end of last year, a decrease from NOK925.7 million in the same period in 2010.

Fred. Olsen has two holding companies, Bonheur and Ganger Rolf, that are both listed in Oslo. Bonheur owns 62.1% of the shares in Ganger Rolf and Ganger Rolf controls 20.7% of the shares in Bonheur. The two companies jointly own operating units in the system, including Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.



Celebrity plans largest season ever in Europe, brings Solstice to Alaska

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Top Headlines

Celebrity Cruises has shared a sneak preview of its itinerary plans for the summer of 2013. Speaking to an audience of travel partners and press in London, Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan revealed that, for the first time, joining Celebrity Eclipse in offering modern luxury vacation experiences from the UK will be the newly Solsticized Celebrity Infinity.

"Like the reaction to every stunning Solstice-class ship, the response to Celebrity Eclipse from our guests and travel partners has been extremely rewarding, ever since it debuted in Southampton in 2010," said Celebrity's President & CEO Dan Hanrahan. "Our decision to expand our European vacation options from the UK on our newly Solsticized Celebrity Infinity is in direct response to increased demand for more of the modern luxury holidays that only Celebrity can provide, as validated by the expanding host of honors our brand continues to receive."

Celebrity Eclipse – which this week was named Best from the UK in Cruise Critic's Cruisers' Choice Awards – will continue to offer sailings from Southampton in the spring and summer of 2013, while Celebrity Infinity – which emerged in December 2011 from Celebrity's ambitious, four-ship, $140-million Solsticizing investment – will present enticing new British Isles and Fjords sailings from Harwich, England.

The summer of 2013 will mark Celebrity's biggest season ever in Europe, with Celebrity Constellation, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Silhouette, and Celebrity Reflection – which debuts in October of this year – all joining Celebrity Eclipse and Celebrity Infinity in offering the broadest array of modern luxury cruises and cruisetours on the newest fleet of ships in the region.

The 2,850-guest flagship of the Solstice-class fleet, Celebrity Solstice, will become the first of its class to offer vacations in Alaska in the summer of 2013, joining Celebrity Century and Celebrity Millennium in pairing Celebrity's chic style and design, signature cuisine, exciting activities and extraordinary service with the region's breathtaking, inspiring scenery.

Cruise & Ferry newbuilding recovery slower than anticipated - STX Europe

Owners of cruise ships and ferries contemplate new orders, but they are held back by uncertainties regarding the global economy and problems related to funding of these projects, says STX Europe, which builds passenger tonnage at yards in France and Finland.

“The Cruise & Ferries business area had revenues of NOK 2 537 million in the fourth quarter, up from NOK 1 883 million in the corresponding period of 2010. The fourth quarter EBITDA was NOK -24 million. The full year EBITDA is NOK 137 million (2010: NOK -473 million), which is an improvement of NOK 610 million compared to last year,” the company said in a statement.

“The market for Cruise & Ferries in general is experiencing uncertainties both in relation to the global economic situation and a challenging climate for the funding of newbuildings. There is an increased activity among the cruise and ferry operators and reports show that the traditional cruise market is growing and that there are expectations for further development, especially within new markets,” the company continued.

However, trading conditions remain challenging: “The demand for further new buildings are expected to slowly improve but at a slower pace than previously anticipated due to the uncertainty in the global economy. The demand for more advanced and innovative technology is increasing especially in relation to fuel efficiency, safety and environmental friendliness. Market conditions, however, are expected to remain challenging.”

As a result, the business area will continue to focus on diversification into other market segments where the yards have considerable technological background, expertise and other potential competitive advantages. This includes vessels for naval operations, offshore related constructions and renewable energy/wind. The focus in ice-breaking/arctic tonnage remains a key strategic focus, predominantly in Finland.

“There is a strong focus to secure more orders and to improve its cost base and long term competitiveness. STX Europe is committed to remaining a world leading shipbuilder of cruise vessels, ferries and other specialized vessels at its yards in Finland and France.” The improvement in performance of the business area compared with 2010 is largely attributable to improved cost base and higher utilisation of the yards’ capacities in both STX France and STX Finland. The financial performance in the business area is still not satisfactory and measures are taken to further improve this.

The total order intake for the quarter was NOK 1 345 million. At the end of fourth quarter 2011, the Cruise & Ferries business area had an order backlog of NOK 16 290 million, compared with NOK 14 126 million at the end of 2010. The order backlog, including vessels in production, consisted of 14 vessels. All ongoing projects are currently proceeding according to plan. The business area has a strong focus to secure more orders and further strengthen their long term competitiveness.