The company is very encouraged about the demand environment for 2023. Booking volumes in the fourth quarter were significantly higher than the corresponding period in 2019, culminating in record booking weeks for the Group for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
MIAMI – Royal Caribbean Group reported fourth quarter 2022 Loss per Share of $(1.96) and Adjusted Loss per Share of $(1.12). These results exceeded the company’s guidance due to better pricing on close-in demand, strong onboard spend, favorable timing of operating costs, and lower interest expense.
“2022 was a pivotal year as we successfully returned our business to full operations and delivered memorable vacation experiences to 6 million guests,” said Jason Liberty, president and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Group. “We also returned to positive Adjusted EBITDA and Operating Cash Flow by consistently growing revenue and controlling costs. Our teams have worked tirelessly to deliver the best vacation experiences, responsibly, and we are grateful for their extraordinary efforts.”
“We are experiencing a record-breaking WAVE season, resulting in a booked position approaching previous record highs and at higher prices. This, along with the normalization of our booking window, provides the visibility for us to provide annual guidance, which is in line with our Trifecta program,” added Liberty. “The combination of our industry-leading global brands, most innovative fleet, nimble sourcing and our continued focus on profitability positions us well to deliver record yields and Adjusted EBITDA in 2023.”
Financial Highlights & Outlook
Fourth Quarter 2022:
- Load Factors were in line with guidance at 95%, with Caribbean sailings reaching 100%, and holiday sailings close to 110%.
- Total revenues per passenger cruise day were up 3.5% as-reported and 4.5% in Constant Currency, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
- Total revenues were $2.6 billion, Net Loss was $(500.2) million or $(1.96) per share, Adjusted Net Loss was $(284.9) million or $(1.12) per share, and Adjusted EBITDA was $409.3 million.
Full Year 2022:
- Load Factors were 85% overall, full fleet back in operation since June of 2022.
- Total revenues were $8.8 billion, Net Loss was $(2.2) billion or $(8.45) per share, Adjusted Net Loss was $(1.9) billion or $(7.50) per share, and Adjusted EBITDA was $711.6 million.
Full Year 2023 Outlook:
- The company is experiencing a record-breaking WAVE season, driven by strong demand. The seven biggest booking weeks in the company’s history have occurred since the last earnings call in November 2022.
- 2023 cumulative booked position remains well within historical ranges for all quarters and at record rates. North America based itineraries are booked in line with 2019 for the full year, and ahead for the second quarter through the fourth quarter.
- Net Yields are expected to increase 2.5% to 4.5% in both as-reported and in Constant Currency versus 2019. Net Yields are expected to ramp up as load factors reach historical levels by late spring.
- The company continues to successfully manage costs in a complicated environment with Net Cruise Costs (NCC), excluding Fuel, per APCD expected to increase 4.5% to 5.5% as-reported and 4.75% to 5.75% in Constant Currency compared to 2019, a three-year old benchmark, and include approximately 210 basis points from lingering transitional costs (e.g. crew movement) and additional structural costs (e.g. full year operations of Perfect Day at CocoCay and the new Galveston terminal).
- The company expects to exceed prior record Adjusted EBITDA, achieved in 2019.
- The company expects Adjusted Earnings per Share in the range of $3.00 to $3.60.
First Quarter 2023 Outlook:
- Net Yields are expected to increase 0.5% to 1.5% as-reported and 1% to 2% in Constant Currency compared to 2019, with load factors reaching 100% and total revenues per passenger cruise day up in the mid-to-high single digit range in both as-reported and Constant Currency compared to 2019.
- NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD is expected to increase approximately 8.3% as-reported and approximately 8.5% in Constant Currency, compared to 2019, including 320 basis points of lagging transitional costs, additional structural costs, and timing of expenses.
- Adjusted Loss per Share is expected to be in the range of $(0.65) – $(0.85).
Fourth Quarter 2022 Results
The company reported Net Loss for the fourth quarter of 2022 of $(0.5) billion or $(1.96) per share compared to Net Loss of $(1.4) billion or $(5.33) per share for the same period in the prior year. Adjusted Net Loss was $(0.3) billion or $(1.12) per share for the fourth quarter of 2022 compared to Adjusted Net Loss of $(1.2) billion or $(4.78) per share for the same period in the prior year.
Fourth quarter Load Factors were in line with guidance at 95%, with Caribbean sailings reaching 100%. Total revenues per passenger cruise day were up 3.5% as-reported and 4.5% in Constant Currency versus the fourth quarter of 2019 due to strong pricing on close-in demand and continued strength in onboard revenues.
Gross Cruise Costs per APCD increased 4.9% as-reported and 5.8% in Constant Currency, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD increased 3.9% as-reported and 4.7% in Constant Currency, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Gross Cruise Costs per APCD and NCC, excluding Fuel, per APCD for the fourth quarter included $1.23 per APCD related to health protocols and one-time lagging costs related to fleet ramp up. The Group expects transitory costs related to health protocols and ramp up of operations to be largely gone in 2023 as the majority of crew have returned and protocols have eased. In the fourth quarter, the company continued to benefit from multiple actions taken to reshape its cost structure and to help partially offset inflationary and supply chain challenges.
“Fourth quarter results reflect the continued strong demand for our vacation experiences and our teams’ ability to manage costs in a complicated environment while staying focused on delivering the best vacation experiences expected by our guests,” said Naftali Holtz, chief financial officer, Royal Caribbean Group. “The benefit from multiple actions we have taken during the last few years to improve margins continue to yield results, as we focus on executing our proven formula of moderate yield growth and strong cost controls.”
The company recorded a loss contingency of $130 million in the fourth quarter related to a Helms-Burton Act claim which the company continues to vigorously defend.
Full Year 2022 Results
For the full year, the company reported Net Loss of $(2.2) billion or $(8.45) per share compared to Net Loss of $(5.3) billion or $(20.89) per share in the prior year. The company also reported Adjusted Net Loss of $(1.9) billion or $(7.50) per share for the full year 2022 compared to Adjusted Net Loss of $(4.8) billion or $(19.19) per share in the prior year.
Update on Bookings
The company is very encouraged about the demand environment for 2023. Booking volumes in the fourth quarter were significantly higher than the corresponding period in 2019, culminating in record booking weeks for the Group for both Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Momentum continues into early 2023 and the company is experiencing a record-breaking WAVE season. Overall, the seven biggest booking weeks in the company’s history have occurred since the middle of November 2022, including the first five weeks of WAVE. The booking window has continued to move back to normal, providing further confidence in forward looking business, as guests plan for the future. Consumer spending onboard and pre-cruise purchases continue to exceed prior years driven by greater participation at higher prices, indicating quality and healthy future demand.
The cumulative booked position remains well within historical ranges at record rates and has improved significantly since November. North America sailings, many of which visit Perfect Day at CocoCay, are leading the way and are booked in line with record 2019 levels for the full year and ahead for the second quarter through the fourth quarter. Bookings for European itineraries have been accelerating during WAVE and are now higher than 2019.
“Leisure travel strength continues as consumer spend is shifting towards experiences, with cruising remaining an attractive value proposition,” said Liberty. “The quality demand trends further exhibit the strength of our brands and the growing propensity to cruise.”
As of December 31, 2022, the Group’s customer deposit balance was at a record $4.2 billion.
Bunker pricing, net of hedging, for the fourth quarter was $694 per metric ton and consumption was 422,000 metric tons.
The company does not forecast fuel prices and its fuel cost calculations are based on current at-the-pump prices, net of hedging impacts. Based on today’s fuel prices, the company has included $294 million of fuel expense in its first quarter guidance at a forecasted consumption of 412,500 which is 57% hedged via swaps. Forecasted consumption is 55% hedged via swaps for full year 2023 and is 10% hedged via swaps for 2024. The annual average cost per metric ton of the hedge portfolio is approximately $583 for 2023 and $826 for 2024. The higher average hedged cost in 2024 is driven primarily by the hedged fuel mix, with 2024 currently hedged with Marine Gas Oil (“MGO”) swaps, while 2023 is hedged fairly evenly between MGO and Intermediate Fuel Oil (“IFO”) swaps.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.