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Royal Caribbean Group reports on first Quarter 2020

The company expects to incur a net loss on both a US GAAP and adjusted basis for its second quarter and the 2020 fiscal year; the extent of which will depend on the timing and extent of its return to service.

MIAMI – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. commented on the business in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and reported on the first quarter of 2020.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in an unprecedented global response to contain the spread of the disease. As part of the global containment effort, the company previously announced a voluntary suspension of its global cruise operation.

"Responding to the dramatic change in business conditions caused by COVID-19 has required focus, dedication, ingenuity and improvisation from all our people, and their efforts have been nonstop," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO. "We understand that when our ships return to service, they will be sailing in a changed world. How well we anticipate and solve for this new environment will play a critical role in keeping our guests and crew safe and healthy, as well as position our business and that of our travel agent partners to return to growth."

As the company finishes repatriating crew members to their home countries, the company's future focus now turns to four key principles:

  • Ensuring the safety of guests and crew
  • Proactively enhancing liquidity
  • Protecting the Company's brands, and
  • Defining and preparing for a "new normal."

The company has engaged the services of distinguished external experts in relevant fields, including public health, epidemiology, design and sanitation, to bring additional expertise to its internal teams that are envisioning the Company's new standards and procedures for its return to service strategy.

Update on Bookings
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, the company started the year in a strong booked position and at higher prices on a prior year comparable basis. Given the impact of COVID-19, booking volumes for the remainder of 2020 are meaningfully lower than the same time last year at prices that are down low-single digits. Although still early in the booking cycle, the booked position for 2021 is within historical ranges when compared to same time last year with 2021 prices up mid-single digits compared to 2020.

The company has implemented various programs in order to best serve its booked guests providing the choice of future cruise credits in lieu of providing cash refunds for both cancelled sailings and future bookings. As of April 30, 2020, approximately 45% of the guests booked on cancelled sailings have requested cash refunds. Additionally, as of March 31, 2020, the Company had $2.4 billion in customer deposits.  The Company also continues to take future bookings for 2020, 2021 and 2022, and receive new customer deposits and final payments on these bookings.

Update on Liquidity Actions and Ongoing Uses of Cash
Since the last earnings call, and given the challenges posed by the suspension of its global cruise operation, the Company has taken significant actions to enhance its liquidity, preserve cash and secure additional financing. These actions include reducing operating expenses; reducing or deferring capital spend; and increasing its available cash position through various financing sources. Among these efforts, the Company highlighted an approximate $4.0 billion increase in additional financing through a secured bond issuance and increased revolver capacity; a $3.0 billion reduction in its 2020 capital expenditures, a $0.8 billion 12-month debt amortization holiday from certain export-credit backed facilities, and a substantial reduction in its operating expenses due to the fleet layup and significant actions to meaningfully decrease the Company's sales, marketing and administrative expenses.

"We have taken swift and substantial actions to bolster our financial position by significantly reducing our operating and capital spend and leveraging our strong balance sheet to raise additional capital," said Jason T. Liberty, executive vice president and CFO.

The company estimates its cash burn to be, on average, in the range of approximately $250 million to $275 million per month during a prolonged suspension of operations. This range includes ongoing ship operating expenses, administrative expenses, debt service expense, hedging costs, expected necessary capital expenditures (net of committed financings in the case of newbuilds) and excludes cash refunds of customer deposits as well as cash inflows from new and existing bookings. The company is considering ways to further reduce the average monthly requirement under a further prolonged out-of-service scenario and during start-up of operations.

Liquidity and Financing Arrangements
As of April 30, 2020, the company had liquidity of approximately $2.3 billion all in the form of cash and cash equivalents. On May 19, 2020, the company completed its $3.3 billion senior secured notes offering, improving the company's liquidity position by approximately $1.0 billion.

The Company noted that as of May 19, 2020, the expected debt maturities for the remainder of 2020 and 2021, are $0.4 billion and $0.9 billion, respectively.

Capital Expenditures
Since the last earnings call, the company has identified approximately $3.0 billion and $1.4 billion of capital expenditure reductions or deferrals in 2020 and 2021, respectively. The projected capital expenditures for the remainder of 2020 and 2021 are $0.5 billion and $2.1 billion, respectively. The company continues to evaluate ways to further reduce these expenditures.

The company believes COVID-19 has impacted shipyard operations and will result in delivery delays of ships previously planned for delivery in 2020 and 2021.

First Quarter 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the company suspended its global cruise operation starting on March 13, 2020, which resulted in the cancellation of 130 sailings during the first quarter and a consequent reduction in capacity of approximately 20.0% vs. guidance and 17.0% vs. the same time last year

The company reported US GAAP Net Loss for the first quarter of 2020 of $(1.4) billion or $(6.91) per share compared to US GAAP Net Income of $249.7 million or $1.19 per share in the prior year. The 2020 results include a non-cash asset impairment loss of $1.1 billion. The Company reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(310.4) million or $(1.48) per share compared to Adjusted Net Income of $275.8 million or $1.31 per share in the prior year. The Net Loss for the quarter is a result of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business.

2020 Outlook
On March 10, 2020, the company withdrew its first quarter and full-year 2020 guidance. The magnitude, duration and speed of COVID-19 remains uncertain. As a consequence, the Company cannot estimate the impact of COVID-19 on its business, financial condition or near or longer-term financial or operational results with reasonable certainty. The company expects to incur a net loss on both a US GAAP and adjusted basis for its second quarter and the 2020 fiscal year; the extent of which will depend on the timing and extent of our return to service.

Interest expense for the remainder of the year (April 1, 2020 through December 31,2020) will be in the range of $590 million to $610 million. 

As of March 31, 2020, the company had hedged approximately 60%, 39%, 23% and 5% of its total projected metric tons of fuel consumption for the remainder of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023, respectively. For the same four-year period, the annual average cost per metric ton of the hedge portfolio is approximately $433, $435, $514 and $580, respectively.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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