Lindblad hit by cessation of operations

2020-08-14T13:49:19+00:00 August 14th, 2020|Finance|

Lindblad Expeditions Holdings second quarter tour revenues decreased by $76.9 mill, or 100%, compared to the same period in 2019.

This decline was driven by a $65 mill decrease at the Lindblad segment and a $12 mill decrease at Natural Habitat, as a result of rescheduling all expeditions, due to COVID-19.

The 2Q20 net loss available to common stockholders was $39.7 mill, $0.80 per diluted share, compared with net income of $1 mill, $0.02 per diluted share, in 2Q19.

This $40.7 mill decrease primarily reflected the impact of COVID-19 on operations, a $3.9 mill loss on foreign currency in the current year versus a $0.5 mill foreign currency gain in 2Q19 and a $2.4 mill increase in depreciation and amortisation versus the same period a year ago, primarily due to the addition of the ’National Geographic Endurance’ to the fleet in March, 2020.

A second quarter Adjusted EBITDA loss of $25.5 mill decreased $38 mill, compared to the same period in 2019. This fall was driven by a $36.3 mill decline at the Lindblad segment and a $1.7 mill decrease at Natural Habitat.

Lindblad segment adjusted EBITDA loss was $23 mill, which decreased $36.3 mill, compared to the second quarter a year ago, due primarily to the revenue impact of rescheduling all expeditions as a result of COVID-19 and costs associated with the ’National Geographic Endurance’ following her March, 2020 delivery.

The current quarter also included lower operating costs for the fleet while laid up, a reduction in commissions from the impact of COVID-19 on revenues and reduced marketing and personnel spend.

Natural Habitat adjusted EBITDA loss of $2.5 mill increased $1.7 mill versus 2Q19 primarily due to the lower revenue as a result of COVID-19, partially offset by lower operating costs due to rescheduled departures and a decline in marketing and personnel spend.

The Company’s cash, cash equivalents and restricted cash were $102.2 mill as of 30th June, 2020, compared with $109.3 mill as of 31st December, 2019. This decrease was primarily a result of $36.8 mill in net cash used in operating activities and purchases of property and equipment of $152 mill, mostly related to the delivery of the ’National Geographic Endurance’ and a third instalment payment for the ’National Geographic Resolution’, which is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2021, partially offset by $181.8 mill in net cash provided by financing activities.

Financing activities primarily reflect borrowings under export credit agreements, including $107.7 mill upon delivery of the ’National Geographic Endurance’ and $30.6 mill in conjunction with our third instalment payment on the ’National Geographic Resolution’, and $45 mill drawn under a revolving credit facility for working capital and general corporate purposes during the period of suspended operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Free cash flow use was $188.8 mill for 2Q20, compared with $5.1 mill in the second quarter of 2019, due primarily to newbuild costs and the impact of COVID-19. Free cash flow is defined as net cash provided by operating activities less purchases of property and equipment.

Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and CEO, said, “The COVID-19 virus has created unprecedented challenges for the travel industry and while we can’t be certain when we will be able to return to the world’s most remarkable destinations, the steps we are taking today will enable us to return to operations as soon as possible, safely and prosperously.

“I couldn’t be prouder of how hard the Lindblad team has worked to enhance our existing rigorous operating protocols, while co-ordinating with local authorities that have welcomed us for the last four decades. We continue to hear from our loyal guests how eager they are to resume travelling with us, especially given the smaller size of our ships and the remote geographies we visit, and we look forward to once again providing them the joy of exploration through authentic and immersive experiences.”

Due to the pandemic, the company suspended or rescheduled the majority of its expeditions departing 16th March, 2020 through 30th September, 2020 and has been working with guests to reschedule travel plans and refund payments, as applicable.

The company’s ships are currently being maintained with minimally required crew on board to ensure they comply with all necessary regulations and can be fully put back into service quickly as needed, Lindblad explained. In accordance with local regulations, the company closed its offices and most employees are working remotely to maintain general business operations, to provide assistance to existing and potential guests and to maintain IT systems.

As of 30th June, 2020, the company had a total debt position of $412.3 mill and was in compliance with all of its debt covenants in effect. The company has no material debt maturities until 2023.

It estimated its monthly cash usage while the vessels are not in operations to be around $10-15 mill, including ship and office operating expenses, necessary capital expenditures and interest and principal payments. This excludes guest payments for future travel and cash refunds requested on previously made guest payments.