NCL CORPORATION REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR RESULTS FOR 2007
Financial Press Release
MIAMI - February 28, 2008 - NCL Corporation Ltd. ("NCL" or the "Company") reported a year-over-year increase in total revenues of 9.9%, from $2.0 billion in 2006 to $2.2 billion in 2007, and a 12.7% increase in net revenues, on a 10.3% increase in capacity. Net Yields for 2007 increased 2.1% from the prior year, while Gross Yields declined 0.3%. Operating income for the Company increased 29.6% from the prior year, from $32.6 million in 2006 to $42.2 million in 2007. The Company reported a net loss of $227.0 million for its year ended December 31, 2007, as compared to a net loss of $130.9 million for the prior year. Results for the year ended December 31, 2007 include non-cash foreign exchange translation losses of $94.5 million compared to non-cash foreign exchange translation losses of $38.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2006, or an adverse year-over-year impact of $55.6 million. Also negatively impacting 2007 net results was a $40.9 increase year-over-year in net interest expense due to increased borrowings following deliveries of the Company's new ships, Pride of Hawaii (now Norwegian Jade), Norwegian Pearl, and Norwegian Gem.
For the fourth quarter of 2007, the Company reported a net loss of $133.0 million on total revenues of $497.5 million, compared to a net loss of $116.0 million on total revenues of $449.5 million for the same period in 2006. The increase in revenues was primarily attributable to a 4.0% increase in Capacity Days and an 11.0% increase in Net Yields. Driving the increase in Net Yields was higher ticket pricing, an increase in onboard spend and increased occupancy levels. Gross Yields increased 6.4% from the fourth quarter of 2006. Occupancy for the fourth quarter of 2007 was 104.0% compared to 100.2% in the same quarter of 2006.
Net Cruise Costs per Capacity Day for the fourth quarter of 2007 increased 6.6% compared with the fourth quarter of 2006. The increase in these costs was primarily due to higher fuel costs and an increase in marketing, general and administrative expenses, partially offset by a decrease in payroll and related costs, particularly related to the Company's Hawaii operations. Average fuel prices for the fourth quarter increased 46% to $491 per metric ton from $336 per metric ton in the fourth quarter of 2006. This increase in price contributed to a year-over-year increase in fuel costs of $18.3 million. The increase in marketing, general and administrative expenses of 10.6% per Capacity Day is mainly due to additional professional fees primarily in connection with technology initiatives.
The impact of higher interest expenses and the weakening of the U.S. dollar continued to impact the Company's results during the fourth quarter of 2007. As a result of an increase in the Company's average outstanding borrowings, interest expense increased 30.0% or $11.7 million. With the Euro/U.S. Dollar exchange rate increasing to 1.4590 as of December 31, 2007, the Company reported non-cash foreign exchange translation losses of $30.0 million for the fourth quarter. These non-cash foreign exchange translation losses compare to non-cash foreign exchange translation losses of $14.0 million for the same period of 2006, or an adverse year-over-year swing of over $16.0 million.
"With the addition of our new shareholders, the implementation of Freestyle 2.0 and Partnership 2.0 and a successful refinement of our strategy in Hawaii, we look forward to a promising year in 2008," said Colin Veitch, president and chief executive officer of NCL Corporation Ltd. "The improved financial condition of the Company following the $1.0 billion equity investment by Apollo has given us the opportunity to expand on the success of our brand with a further upgrade of our onboard product on what is now the youngest, most innovative fleet in the industry. We also expect to benefit financially from the steps taken with regards to NCL America operations. The further reduction in capacity coupled with the stabilization of our staffing is expected to enable us to make this unique offering within the second half of the year. "
Terminology and Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Capacity Days represent double occupancy per cabin multiplied by the number of cruise days for the period.
Gross Cruise Costs
Gross Cruise Costs represent the sum of total cruise operating expenses and marketing, general and administrative expenses.
Gross Yields represent total revenues per Capacity Day.
Net Yields represent total revenues less commissions, transportation and other expenses, and onboard and other expenses per Capacity Day. The Company utilizes Net Yields to manage its business on a day-to-day basis and believes that it is the most relevant measure of its pricing performance and is commonly used in the cruise industry to measure pricing performance. The Company has not provided a quantitative reconciliation of projected Gross Yields to projected Net Yields due to the significant uncertainty in projecting the costs deducted to arrive at this measure. Accordingly, the Company does not believe that reconciling information for such projected figures would be meaningful.
Net Cruise Costs
Net Cruise Costs represent Gross Cruise Costs excluding commissions, transportation and other expenses and onboard and other expenses. In measuring the Company's ability to control costs in a manner that positively impacts net income (loss), the Company believes changes in Net Cruise Costs and Net Cruise Costs Excluding Fuel to be the most relevant indicators of its performance and are commonly used in the cruise industry as a measurement of costs.
Net Income (Loss) Excluding Non-Cash Foreign Exchange Translation
Net Income (Loss) Excluding Non-Cash Foreign Exchange Translation represents net income (loss) before the effect of non-cash foreign exchange translation gains and losses. The Company believes that this financial measure is useful because it excludes non-cash foreign exchange translation gains and losses related to the translation of balance sheet amounts which the Company believes are not relevant to understanding the trends of the Company's operational performance or its prospects for future operational performance. Management uses this measure to establish operational goals and believes that it may assist in analyzing the underlying trends of the Company's operational performance over time.
Passenger Cruise Days
Passenger Cruise Days represent the number of passengers carried for the period multiplied by the number of days in their respective cruises.
Occupancy Percentage, in accordance with cruise industry practice, represents the ratio of Passenger Cruise Days to Capacity Days. A percentage in excess of 100% indicates that three or more passengers occupied some cabins.
About NCL Corporation
NCL Corporation Ltd. is the holding company for various subsidiary companies involved in owning and operating the ships of Norwegian Cruise Line.
NCL is building two new Third Generation Freestyle Cruising ("F3") ships for delivery in 2010. NCL today has the youngest fleet in the industry, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships in the market, and has recently added its latest new ship, the 2,400 passenger Norwegian Gem.
For high resolution, downloadable images, please log onto NCL's Web site at www.ncl.com/pressroom. For further information on NCL Corporation, contact NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (866) 234-0292.
This release may contain statements, estimates or projections that constitute "forward-looking statements" as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Generally, the words "expect," "anticipate," "goal," "project," "plan," "believe," "seek," "will," "may," "forecast," "estimate," "intend," and "future," and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, which are not historical in nature. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from NCL's historical results or those implied in forward-looking statements. These risks include, but are not limited to, changes in cruise capacity, as well as capacity changes in the overall vacation industry; introduction of competing itineraries and other products by other companies; changes in general economic, business and geo-political conditions; reduced consumer demand for cruises as a result of any number of reasons, including armed conflict, terrorist attacks, geo-political and economic uncertainties or the unavailability of air service, and the resulting concerns over the safety and security aspects of traveling; lack of acceptance of new itineraries, products or services by the Company's targeted customers; the Company's ability to implement brand strategies and its shipbuilding programs, and to continue to expand its business worldwide; costs of new initiatives, including those involving the Company's inter-island Hawaii cruise operations; changes in interest rates, fuel costs or foreign currency rates; delivery schedules of new ships; risks associated with operating internationally; the impact of spread of contagious diseases; accidents and other incidents affecting the health, safety, security and vacation satisfaction of passengers and causing damage to ships, which could cause the modification of itineraries or cancellation of a cruise or series of cruises; the Company's ability to attract and retain qualified shipboard crew and maintain good relations with employee unions; changes in other operating costs such as crew, insurance and security costs; continued availability of attractive port destinations; the impact of pending or threatened litigation; the ability to obtain financing on terms that are favorable or consistent with the Company's expectations; changes involving the tax, environmental, health, safety, security and other regulatory regimes in which the Company operates; emergency ship repairs; disruptions to the Company's software and other information technology systems; the implementation of regulations in the United States requiring United States citizens to obtain passports for travel to additional foreign destinations; weather and natural disasters; and other risks discussed in NCL's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. NCL expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect any change in expectations or events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statements are based. In addition, certain financial measures in this release constitute non-GAAP financial measures as defined by Regulation G. A reconciliation of these items can be found attached hereto and on the Company's web site at www.ncl.com/investors.
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