Royal Caribbean Group shared its third quarter financial report, reporting a strong surge in bookings when compared with pre-pandemic levels, predicting a similarly strong end of the year and introducing the three-year Trifecta Program to increase performance and sustainability output.
“Last quarter’s better-than-expected performance was a result of the continued robust demand environment and strong execution by our teams,” said Jason Liberty, president and chief executive officer of Royal Caribbean Group. “The combination of our leading global brands, the best and most innovative fleet in the industry, our nimble global sourcing platform and the very best people have delivered a successful return of our business to full operations and positions us well to deliver record yields and adjusted EBITDA in 2023.”
“The Trifecta Program provides us the financial coordinates we are looking to achieve over the next three years. As we have demonstrated in the past, we expect the formula of moderate yield growth, strong cost discipline, and moderate growth of our fleet will deliver a strong financial profile,” continued Liberty.
Booking Surges Follow Cruise Trends
Booking volumes surged for the cruise line during its third quarter following the easing of pandemic-related restrictions and requirements.
One such surge was in current year sailing bookings, which was 50 percent higher than it was during the third quarter of 2019. Bookings for 2023 increased too, doubling from the second quarter of the year and outpacing pre-pandemic booking numbers.
As such, customer deposit balance for all cruise lines under the Royal Caribbean Group umbrella as of September 30 was $3.8 billion.
Load factors on cruise ships during this quarter were 96 percent, with Caribbean sailing reaching nearly 105 percent.
Third Quarter Earnings
Total revenue for the quarter was $3 billion, while Adjusted EBITDA (or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) was $742.3 million. Adjusted net income was $65.8 million.
By comparison, in 2021 the same quarter accrued a net loss of $1.4 billion. The adjusted net loss was $1.2 billion.
Cruise costs per APCD (or available passenger cruise days, a key metric in the cruise industry), increased by 1 percent compared to the previous quarter of 2022. Net cruise costs excluding fuel improved by 11 percent during the quarter, partially due to the lessening of pandemic protocols.
The Trifecta Program
In addition to reporting its third-quarter results, Royal Caribbean Group announced it was launching the Trifecta Program, a three-year financial performance initiative to be implemented through the end of 2025.
As its name suggests, it has three main goals in mind financially, while remaining true to its sustainability goals.
– Triple Digit Adjusted EBITDA per APCD, to exceed prior record Adjusted EBITDA per APCD of $87 in 2019.
– Double Digit Adjusted Earnings per Share to exceed the prior record Adjusted Earnings per Share of $9.54 in 2019.
– Return on Invested Capital (“ROIC”) in the teens to exceed the prior record ROIC of 10.5% in 2019 through optimizing capital allocation and enhancing operating income.
Fourth Quarter 2022 and 2023 Predictions
The Group expects its fourth quarter to remain high in terms of bookings and load factors. It’s expected to generate $2.6 billion in total revenue. Capital expenditures are expected to be $0.3 billion during the fourth quarter.
All cruise lines under the Group are seeing strong early booking trends for 2023, with all quarters booking well within “historical ranges at record pricing,” according to the report. It expects inflation to continue impacting operation costs through the first half of 2023.
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