Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) has reported experiencing “robust” future demand after it recorded a $4 billion loss for 2020 due to the Covid pandemic.
The company, whose Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands are currently suspended through to 31 May, announced a fourth-quarter loss of $739 million on Thursday (25 February).
Yearly revenue in 2020 decreased 80.2% to $1.3 billion compared with $6.5 billion made in 2019.
NCLH said its monthly average cash burn for Q4 2020 was approximately $190 million – which included around $15 million per month of additional “relaunch-related expenses” as it prepared vessels for a potential return to service in early 2021 “which did not materialise”.
For the first quarter of 2021, NCLH expects its average cash burn rate to “temporarily remain elevated” at around $190 million per month.
NCLH said it also expected to report a net loss for the first quarter ending 31 March and in subsequent quarters “until the company is able to resume voyages”.
Although overall booking volumes since the pandemic began “remain below historical levels” NCLH maintained there “continues to be demand for future cruise vacations”.
“Despite reduced sales and marketing investments, and a travel agency industry that has not been at full strength for months, bookings have been strong for future periods resulting in an elongated booking window as guests book further into the future,” the company outlined in its trading update.
Bookings for the second half of 2021 remain “below historical levels, driven by continued uncertainty around timing of the resumption of cruising and the shift of limited marketing investments to 2022 sailings,” although pricing for the second half of 2021 is currently “in line with pre-pandemic levels”, NCLH said.
“While still early in the booking cycle, 2022 booking trends are very positive driven by strong pent-up demand,” added NCLH, as it reported “robust future demand across all brands” with its overall cumulative booked position for the first half of 2022 “significantly ahead” of 2019’s record levels.
As of 31 December, NCLH had $1.2 billion worth of advance ticket sales – including approximately $0.85 billion of future cruise credits.
Frank Del Rio, NCLH president and chief executive, said: “While 2020 has been without a doubt the most challenging year in the company’s 50-plus year history, our team responded to the unprecedented environment with swift and decisive action.
“Our company demonstrated once again its adaptability and resiliency, underscored by the unwavering commitment and dedication from our team members across the globe. Looking ahead, we are encouraged by the accelerating rollout of vaccines, the progress towards herd immunity and the strong demand for future cruise vacations.”