Lindblad Expedition Holdings has reported a decrease in first quarter tour revenues of $79.5 mill, or 98%, compared to the same period in 2020.
The decline was driven by a $69.1 mill drop at the Lindblad segment and a $10.4 mill fall at the Land Experiences segment as a result of rescheduling nearly all expeditions, due to COVID-19 during the quarter.
The 1Q21 net loss was $34.5 mill, $0.66 per diluted share, compared with net loss of $1.9 mill, $0.04 per diluted share, in 1Q20.
This $32.6 mill decrease primarily reflected the impact of COVID-19 on operations, as well as an $2.6 mill increase in interest expense, due to additional borrowings and higher rates and a $1.6 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.
These decreases were partially offset by a $0.1 mill foreign currency gain in the current year versus a $3.4 mill foreign currency loss in 1Q20.
First quarter adjusted EBITDA loss was $20.8 mill, a decrease of $31.4 mill, compared to the same period in 2020. This was driven by a $28 mill decline in the Lindblad segment and a $3.4 mill drop at the Land Experiences segment.
Lindblad segment adjusted EBITDA loss of $18 mill was a drop of $28 mill, compared to 1Q20, primarily due to the revenue impact of rescheduling all expeditions during the period, partially offset by lower fleet operating costs while laid up, a reduction in commissions from the impact of COVID-19 on revenues and reduced marketing and personnel spend.
Land Experiences segment adjusted EBITDA showed a loss of $2.9 mill, a decreased of $3.4 mill versus 1Q20, which was primarily due to the lower revenue as a result of COVID-19, partially offset by lower operating costs, due to rescheduled departures and a reduction in marketing and personnel spend.
The company currently has a $35 mill stock repurchase plan in place.
Sven-Olof Lindblad, President and CEO (pictured), said “We are extremely excited to be on the verge of returning to operations. When our ships resume sailing in Alaska and the Galapagos this June, we will once again be doing what we do best, delivering high quality and immersive experiences to the world’s most remarkable destinations.
“The comprehensive plan we put in place just over a year ago to maintain a strong liquidity profile will enable us to return to operations as a nimble and vibrant company and capitalise on the substantial demand for authentic adventure travel.
“With the vast majority of loyal guests from rescheduled voyages already rebooked for future travel and with the current booking strength we are experiencing, Lindblad is well positioned to build on the growth we were delivering prior to the pandemic.
“Additionally, we have expanded our growth opportunity with the recent acquisitions of Off the Beaten Path and DuVine. We just added these leading travel providers to our portfolio, but we are already seeing some of the cross-selling benefits of an expanded and diverse product portfolio. These land-based businesses, along with Natural Habitat, are already operating in various destinations, taking guests who are ready to once again experience what the world has to offer.
“As we begin to return to the places we have visited over the last 40 years, I couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished these past 12 months, and I look forward to the opportunities ahead for our guests, for our employees and for our shareholders,” he said.
Due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and the effects of travel restrictions around the world, the company suspended or rescheduled the majority of its expeditions and trips departing 16th March, 2020 through 31st May, 2021 and has been working with guests to reschedule travel plans and refund payments, as applicable.
Lindblad announced plans to resume ship operations for this season in Alaska and the Galapagos in June, 2021 and is working with local health authorities on plans to begin operating in additional geographies during the second half of the year.
As the company’s ships are currently not in operation, the majority of the fleet is being maintained with minimally required crew on board to ensure they comply with all necessary regulations and can be put back fully and quickly into service as needed.
For those ships that are preparing to resume sailing, we have begun to increase crew levels as needed. In accordance with local regulations, the company offices are closed, and most employees are working remotely to maintain general business operations, provide assistance to existing and potential guests and maintain information technology systems.
A comprehensive plan was implemented in March, 2020 to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and preserve and enhance its liquidity position. This involves a variety of cost reduction and cash preservation measures, including significantly reducing ship and land-based expedition costs, such as capital expenditures, crew payroll, land costs, fuel and food, and meaningfully reducing general and administrative expenses through reduced payroll and the elimination of all non-essential travel, office expenses and discretionary spending.
The company has also accessed available capital under existing debt facilities and through the issuance of preferred stock, while continuing to explore additional sources of capital and liquidity.
COVID-19 has had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the company’s financial position and operational results.
Given the continued uncertainty, the company is not providing a full year outlook regarding results of operations at this time and will update its expectations when it has more clarity around the timing of and extent of future operations, Lindblad said.