Posted by: cruise2 | 4 November, 2013

Profits For Crystal And Losses For Fred. Olsen


While financial results from the likes of Carnival Corp & PLC, Royal Caribbean International and Norwegian Cruise Line are routinely reported in the media, Cruise Business Online reporter Kari Reinikainen has been busy seeking out details for some of the less obvious cruise lines whose results can still be obtained because they are owned by listed companies.

Crystal Symphony – The Atrium

For example, cruise operations of the Japanese company Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK Lines), returned to profit in the second quarter of its financial year, i.e. July through September 2013, on a broad-based recovery, as the company reported on its website.

Cruise activities account for 1.7% of NYK’s overall revenues and resulted losses of 1.2 billion yen (about $11.7 million) in 2011 and 3.7 billion yen (about $36 million) in 2012, but are now finally showing a turnaround to profit.

The group’s cruise division includes Crystal Cruises, based in Los Angeles, with the 1,090-berth Crystal Serenity and 960-berth Crystal Symphony, and Asuka Cruises of Tokyo, which operates the 800-berth Asuka II, the former Crystal Harmony.

NYK recorded a quarterly profit on its cruise business of 1.1 billion yen (about $11 million) in the latest period, a complete turnaround from the 1.2 billion yen (about $12 million) loss that it recorded in the same period last year. Revenues rose by almost 40%, from 17.9 billion (about $181 million) to 24.9 billion yen (about $252 million).

Crystal Symphony

Crystal posted a large year-on-year increase in revenue due to robust sales, particularly for Mediterranean cruises, while sales at Asuka Cruises in Japan were firm due to strong demand for summer cruises.

Changes at Crystal in recent times have seen the arrival in 2011 of Jack Anderson, who came from Seabourn, and as Crystal’s senior vice-president marketing and sales has focused on pricing and yield. And last month, Edie Bornstein, latterly with Azamara Club Cruises (and also once previously with Seabourn) was appointed as the line’s new president, replacing Gregg Michel. Anderson has now been appointed vice-chairman and he and Bornstein report to Crystal chairman and chief executive officer Nobuyoshi Kuzuya. Crystal of course also went all-inclusive in the spring of 2012.

Meanwhile, through its Norwegian owners, UK-based Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, operator of four small-to-medium-sized vessels, has recorded a sharp increase in losses along with a slight fall in revenues in the first nine months of 2013, while equity increased, debt fell and the cash position remained little changed.

Fred. Olsen reported a pre tax loss of NOK97 million (about $16.2 million) for January through September, almost two-and-a-half times the loss of NOK40 million (about $6.7 million) recorded in the same period in 2012.

Balmoral - Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Balmoral – Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Revenues fell by about 13%, from NOK1.29 billion (about $215.8 million) to NOK1.12 billion (about $187.4 million), while the line’s operating loss of NOK80 million (about $13.4 million) compared to an operating profit of NOK18 million (about $3 million) in the same period in 2012.

Ganger Rolf and Bonheur, the two Norwegian holding companies that own all the shares of Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, have reported the figures in their own most recent results. Oslo-listed Ganger Rolf and Bonheur are both controlled by the Olsen family.

The Ipswich-based cruise line cut interest-bearing debt more than 20%, from NOK1.05 billion (about $175.5 million) to NOK826 million (about $138 million) at the end of September, while cash on hand decreased by about 14.5% from NOK255 million (about $42.7 million) to NOk218 million (about $36.5 million) in the same period.

Fred. Olsen is changing its business philosophy by offering more overnight port stays and more short cruises from UK ports. Its 2014 cruise programme includes cruises from 10 ports around the UK. A recent short cruise from Belfast by the 839-berth Boudicca did not receive good reports however. First, it apparently it attracted the wrong crowd – lots of partygoers in addition to regular Fred. Olsen cruisers – and after the ship returned to Belfast at 4:30 am, all passengers were required to be ashore by 6:15-6:45 am – hardly an invitation to return!


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