cafeannie

Delivering the Best News to you!

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NCLH.N) said its wealthy travelers would help the U.S. liner ride out an economic downturn after better-than-expected quarterly results lifted its shares 7%.

The Miami, Florida-based cruise operator said despite mounting concerns over a recession in the United States, it has not seen any pullback from its customer base of wealthy Americans.

Inflation has hit lower-income households, but affluent consumers are rushing back to upscale cruising and splurging on food, spas and other experiences onboard, helping lift the cruise industry out of a near 18-month pandemic-induced lull.

“We are relatively better positioned in the event of an economic downturn,” Norwegian Chief Financial Officer Mark Kempa told analysts on a call.

While rival Carnival Corp (CCL.N) has taken a hit from offering heavy discounts and cheaper fares to attract passengers, Norwegian, which owns Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, has raised prices.

“While Norwegian has taken a more measured approach to building load factors (occupancy) back to historical norms, pricing looks to be holding up better across its fleet than at peers,” M Science analyst Michael Erstad said.

Norwegian, which reaffirmed next year’s bookings at record 2019 levels, said occupancy in the third quarter rose to about 82% from 65% in the previous quarter.

For the third quarter, Norwegian’s revenue rose to $1.62 billion from $153.1 million a year earlier when cruise operations were just resuming after the pandemic hit, beating Refinitiv estimates of $1.58 billion.

The company posted a smaller quarterly adjusted loss of 64 cents per share compared with estimates of a 70-cent loss.

Norwegian also forecast fourth-quarter revenue between $1.4 billion and $1.5 billion, compared to estimates of $1.46 billion, and said its adjusted quarterly EBITDA turned positive for the first time since the start of the pandemic.