Lindblad Expeditions Holdings reported first quarter 2019 tour revenues of $89.7 mill, an increase of $7.2 mill, or 9%, compared to the same period in 2018.
The increase was driven by growth of $5.6 mill at the Lindblad segment and a $1.7 mill increase at Natural Habitat, the company said.
Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and CEO, said;”Lindblad is off to another great start in 2019, as the strong momentum we generated throughout the last year and a half continued into the first quarter. The addition of our second newbuild vessel, the ‘National Geographic Venture’, in December, 2018, has further increased our overall capacity and as we have expanded our inventory we continue to maintain high yields and occupancy levels.
“Demand for expedition travel has never been greater and with a proven track record of delivering high quality and immersive experiences, along with our long-standing partnership with National Geographic, we are generating booking strength from both loyal guests as well as those experiencing this type of travel for the first time.
“Reservations for departures later this year and beyond remain strong, as we continue to see broad based demand at higher yields for our newbuilds, as well as our existing fleet. With further capacity expansion, including two new Polar vessels scheduled to join our fleet over the next two years, and the ability to sustain pricing and occupancy levels, we remain uniquely positioned to generate continued strong growth and build additional shareholder value for years to come,” he concluded.
Lindblad segment tour revenue of $76 mill was an increase of $5.6 mill, or 8%, compared to the first quarter a year ago, primarily due to a 9% increase in available guest nights, mostly from the launch of the ‘National Geographic Venture’ in December, 2018.
Available guest nights growth, as well as a slight increase in occupancy to 91%, was partially offset by a 2% decrease in net yield to $1,099, as increased pricing was offset by itinerary changes.
Net income available to common stockholders for 1Q19 was $14.7 mill, $0.31 per diluted share, compared with net income of $10.8 mill, $0.24 per diluted share, in 1Q18. The $3.9 mill increase primarily reflected a $3.1 mill tax benefit during 1Q19 versus tax expense of $0.3 mill during the same period of 2018.
First quarter adjusted EBITDA of $22 mill recorded was a decrease of $0.1 mill, or 1%, compared to the same period in 2018 with a slight increase at the Lindblad segment more than offset by a $0.2 mill decrease at Natural Habitat.
Lindblad segment adjusted EBITDA was $20.9 mill, a slight increase, compared to the first quarter a year ago, as the tour revenue growth and lower drydock and land costs were mostly offset by operating costs on the ‘National Geographic Venture’.
The 1Q19 also included higher marketing spend to drive long-term growth initiatives, increased commission expense related to the revenue growth and higher personnel costs.