Royal Caribbean Cruises
Ltd. said its Wave season of bookings after the holidays has had a
solid start, fueled in part by demand for Caribbean and Alaska itineraries.
happy to report it is proving to be a solid Wave,” said RCCL Chairman Richard
Fain in a conference call about 2015 earnings.
bookings and prices are ahead of last year, said Fain. He attributed
this year’s strength in part to nearly a year’s experience with the “price
integrity policy” that eliminated last-minute deep discounting.
that RCCL recently tweaked the policy to make it clearer. Previously, the
end of discounting could occur 10, 20 or 30 days prior to sailing, depending on
the length of the cruise. Now, RCCL has a single 30-day time frame for cruises
of any duration except for three- and four-day cruises, for which last minute discounts
have always been allowed.
CFO Jason Liberty said Caribbean bookings for 2016 are ahead of last year
in both load factor and rate. “We are seeing pricing strength from the North
American consumer,” he said. Also, RCCL foresees a record year in Alaska.
northern European itineraries are booking well, Liberty said load factors are
slightly behind last year in Europe overall. He said there was a softening in
North American demand for Europe after the Paris attacks in September. Demand
has since returned, but pricing remains below last year for eastern
the fallout from Zika virus, RCCL said it has been a non-event so
far. “To date we’ve seen no impact whatsoever,” Royal Caribbean International
President Michael Bayley said.
reporting results for full-year 2015, RCCL said revenue was $8.3 billion and net
income using GAAP accounting was $665.8 million, compared with 2014 revenue of
$8.1 billion and net income of $764.1 million.
earnings adjusted for various non-GAAP factors were $1.07 billion and forecasted
earnings in 2016 of between $1.3 billion and $1.35 billion.
forecast apparently disappointed investors. Shortly after noon on Tuesday, RCCL shares
traded at $71, down $13.51 a share or 16% from Monday’s close.