RCI – slight easing of losses as ships return to service

2021-08-12T18:57:02+00:00 August 12th, 2021|Finance|

Royal Caribbean Group (RCI) has suffered a US GAAP net loss of $1.3 bill or $5.29 per share for the second quarter of this year, compared to a net loss of $1.6 bill or $7.83 per share in the same period of 2020.

RCI also reported an adjusted net loss of $1.3 bill or $5.06 per share for the quarter, compared to the loss of the same amount or a loss of $6.13 per share in 2Q20.

Losses for the quarter were as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business, the Group said.

The average monthly cash burn rate for 2Q21 was around $330 mill, slightly higher than the previous quarter, as the company returned more ships into operation.

“We’re thrilled to be back on the water at accelerated speed in the US and elsewhere. After 16 months of being at a virtual standstill and another painful financial result this quarter, the flywheel is clearly picking up momentum,” said Richard Fain, RCI Chairman and CEO (pictured).

“Since the pandemic began, our objective has been to make our ships safer than Main Street, and today, we are proving that ambitious goal is achievable. We are also encouraged by the booking outlook especially for 2022 and beyond.”

RCI reported that it is operating 29 ships across its five brands, representing 42% of capacity and by the end of this month, the Group expects to be operating 36 ships, representing over 60% of capacity.

Furthermore, RCI said that it anticipated having 80% of its capacity in service by end of this year.

Booked load factor for 2022 is within historical ranges, the group claimed. Prices for 2022 are up versus a record-setting 2019, even including the impact of future cruise credits (FCCs).

In 2Q21, customer deposits increased by $530 mill from last quarter to $2.4 bill.

“The surge in bookings has been extremely encouraging especially for 2022 and beyond,” Fain said. “The return of cruising has been faster than anyone expected, and we are excited to gradually restart our presence in our key markets.

“We are watching the impact of the Delta variant and other likely variants, but overall, we remain optimistic in our mounting trajectory going forward. People also book their cruises long in advance, so we are concentrating on maintaining our price levels while growing our load factors,” he said.

Despite the huge losses, RCI ended the quarter with $5 bill of liquidity. Since it suspended operations in March, 2020, RCI has raised around $13 bill through a combination of bond issuances, common stock offerings and other loan facilities.

RCI has announced itineraries for 21 ships sailing by 31st August, which includes 12 ships sailing from US ports. This is in addition to 15 ships previously announced sailing from ports outside the US.

“As we look forward, there is very positive momentum with our ships resuming operations and a healthy demand environment,” added Jason Liberty, Executive Vice President and CFO.

“We are very optimistic with our accelerated start in the US and globally. We anticipate 80% of our fleet to be back in service by year-end delivering the world’s best vacations. That is the first step on our pathway back to delivering superior returns.”