Lindblad Expedition Holdings has reported third quarter tour revenues of $87.2 mill, an increase of $2.7 mill, or 3%, compared to the same period in 2017.
This increase was driven by growth of $5.6 mill at Natural Habitat, partially offset by a $2.9 mill drop at the Lindblad segment.
Lindblad segment tour revenues of $64.5 mill was a 4% decline, compared to 3Q17, as an increase in occupancy to 92%, due to higher demand across the fleet was more than offset by a decrease in available guest nights and net yield.
Available guest nights were 1% lower than 3Q17, primarily due to the timing of planned drydocking days, mostly offset by the launch of the ‘National Geographic Quest’ in late July, 2017.
Net yield declined 6% to $983 due primarily to changes in itineraries, most notably on the ‘National Geographic Orion’. The third quarter of 2017 also included the cancellation of four highly booked voyages on the ‘National Geographic Quest’, due to the delay in the arrival of the vessel.
Natural Habitat revenues of $22.7 mill was an increase of $5.6 mill, or 33%, compared to 3Q17, due primarily to higher ticket revenue from additional departures and increased pricing.
Net income available to common stockholders for 3Q18 was $5.1 mill, $0.11 per diluted share, compared with $9.3 mill, $0.20 per diluted share, in 3Q17. The $4.2 mill decrease primarily reflected the lower operating results and a $0.7 mill increase in depreciation and amortisation, primarily due to the addition of the ‘National Geographic Quest’ to the fleet in July, 2017, partially offset by $1.8 mill of lower stock-based compensation expense in the current year.
Third quarter 2018 adjusted EBITDA was $17.1 mill, a decrease of $6 mill, or 26%, compared to the same period in 2017, as growth of $0.6 mill at Natural Habitat was more than offset by a $6.6 mill decrease recorded in the Lindblad segment.
Lindblad segment adjusted EBITDA was $14.7 mill, a 31% decrease, compared to 3Q17, due to the decreased tour revenues and increased operating costs primarily related to higher drydocking expenses associated with the timing of dockings versus a year ago. The third quarter of 2018 also included increased fuel and personnel expenses, as well as a full quarter of costs on the ‘National Geographic Quest’.
Natural Habitat adjusted EBITDA of $2.5 mill was an increase of 33%, compared to the third quarter of 2017, as the revenue growth was partially offset by increased operating costs related to additional departures and higher marketing and personnel costs to drive long-term growth initiatives.
Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and CEO, said “Lindblad continues to generate strong operating momentum across our fleet with expanding capacity being met by the growing demand for high quality and authentic expedition travel. Bookings for future travel have been robust throughout 2018 and have accelerated over the past few months, as we are generating strong demand for our existing inventory, as well as our three new builds.
“The ‘National Geographic Quest’ just completed her first year of operations and we are excited to welcome guests on her sister ship, the ‘National Geographic Venture’, next month. At the same time, we are well underway on the construction of our state-of-the-art Polar Ice Class vessel, the ‘National Geographic Endurance’, scheduled for delivery in 2020.
“While our financial results in the current quarter reflect the impact of the timing of drydocks versus a year ago, our revenues are up 18% year to date and we are generating real operating leverage with adjusted EBITDA up 31%. Looking ahead, this strong growth is poised to continue as we further increase our fleet size and build upon the sustained booking strength we are generating today,” he concluded.