Royal Caribbean sees ‘good but typical’ wave period

Anthem of the Seas launches this year
Anthem of the Seas launches this year

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd has said it is going through a ‘good but typical’ WAVE peak booking period with bookings in the last three months higher than last year.

The cruise company said the end of 2014 had been its best ‘booked position’ in its history despite strong competition in the Caribbean. It expects prices to increase by a single-digit percentage this year.

The update was made as the cruise group reported a 40% increase in earnings for 2014 with similar growth expected this year.

Its adjusted net income came in at US$755.7 million for the year, compared to US$539.2m in 2013.

Its US GAAP net income was reported at US$764.1 million.

“On the revenue front, although the first quarter remains a challenge, we are pleased with the way our summer season in the Caribbean, Europe, China and Alaska is coming together,” said Jason T. Liberty, chief financial officer. “On the expense side, our on-going focus on driving efficiencies throughout the business provides us with the ability to keep our costs firmly in line with our Double-Double expectations while strategically investing in technology enhancements and growing markets, like China.”

Revenue from passenger tickets increased to US$5.89m from US$5.72m for the year, but revenue from onboard and other ancillaries decreased from US$2.23m to US$2.18m.

Its passenger count passed five million, from 4.8m in 2013 to 5.1m in 2014, in a year when there was an additional one million passenger cruise days (totalling 36.7m).

The Double-Double initiative was announced in 2014 with the target of doubling its per-share earnings by 2017 compared to 2014 levels and raise its return on invested capital by double digits.

“It’s been a good year and we are looking forward to another good one in 2015,” said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer. “Our brands are performing at their strongest levels ever and our Double-Double program is solidly on track.”

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