NCL CORPORATION REPORTS SECOND QUARTER RESULTS FOR 2007
Financial Press Release
MIAMI - August 22, 2007 - NCL Corporation Ltd. ("NCL" or the "Company") reported a net loss of $24.6 million on total revenues of $553.1 million for its second quarter ended June 30, 2007, compared to a net loss of $35.1 million on total revenues of $502.8 million for the second quarter ended June 30, 2006. Revenues for the second quarter of 2007 increased 10.0% on a 13.6% increase in Capacity Days partially offset by a 2.5% decrease in Net Yields. The decrease in Net Yields continues to be primarily driven by weakness in ticket pricing for the Company's Hawaii business, as well as lower onboard revenues. Gross Yields decreased 3.1% from the second quarter of 2006. Occupancy for the second quarter of 2007 was 107.5% compared to 107.3% in the same quarter of 2006.
Net Cruise Costs per Capacity Day for the second quarter of 2007 decreased 6.5% compared to the same period in the prior year. The decrease in these costs was primarily attributable to lower payroll and related costs, particularly related to the Company's Hawaii operations, lower fuel costs, and the timing of dry-docks. Also recorded in the second quarter of 2007 was $3.5 million of insurance proceeds related to a previous year's claim. During the quarter, average fuel prices, including the impact of fuel hedges, decreased 2.4% to $362 per metric ton from $371 per metric ton in the second quarter of 2006. Gross Cruise Costs per Capacity Day decreased 5.9% compared to the second quarter of 2006.
The Company continues to feel the effect of rising interest rates and the weakening of the US Dollar versus the Euro. As a result of an increase in average outstanding borrowings following the deliveries of Pride of Hawai'i and Norwegian Pearl, interest expense (net of interest income) increased approximately 25% to $40.8 million in the second quarter of 2007 from $32.5 million in the second quarter of 2006. With the Dollar/Euro exchange rate weakening to 1.3542 as of June 30, 2007, the Company reported a non-cash foreign exchange translation loss primarily related to marking-to-market of the Company's Euro-denominated debt of $12.5 million. During the second quarter of 2006, the Company reported non-cash foreign exchange losses of $22.3 million.
In the second half of the year the Company continues to experience pricing pressure in its Hawaii trade but the Caribbean trade has stabilized. Demand for the summer has been strong, particularly in Europe.
"Our second quarter results reflect the challenges we continue to face in Hawaii," said Colin Veitch, president and chief executive officer of NCL Corporation Ltd. "However, as we look out to 2008 we have positive indications that the measures we have implemented thus far are beginning to work. These indications, the success of our newbuilding program and our new shareholder and related equity investment makes it a very exciting time at NCL Corporation."
The Company is looking forward to the introduction of Norwegian Gem, the latest ship in its Jewel-class fleet, this fall. The Norwegian Gem will launch in October 2007 and sail five Mediterranean itineraries before coming to the United States in December 2007. Following a series of inaugural events on the east coast, including the ship's christening, Norwegian Gem will make her winter home in New York with a seven-day Bahamas and Florida itinerary. The ship will summer in Europe sailing seven-day Western Mediterranean cruises. Norwegian Gem's numerous amenities and entertainment include 10 restaurants, 11 bars and lounges, sketch comedy by Second City, dancing, a world-class spa and bowling in the Bliss Ultra Lounge.
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.
NCL Corporation Ltd. is an innovative cruise company headquartered in Miami, Florida, with a fleet of 14 ships in service and under construction. The corporation oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America, and Orient Lines. The Company recently took delivery of its newest ship, Norwegian Pearl, and is currently building Norwegian Gem for delivery in October of 2007. In addition, NCL plans to build up to three new third generation Freestyle Cruising ships for delivery between 2010 and 2011.
NCL is on target to have the youngest fleet in the industry by the end of 2007 with the introduction of Norwegian Gem, providing guests the opportunity to enjoy the flexibility of Freestyle Cruising on the newest, most contemporary ships at sea.
For high resolution, downloadable images, please log onto NCL's website at www.ncl.com/pressroom. For further information on NCL Corporation, contact a travel agent or NCL in the U.S. and Canada at (800) 327-7030.
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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