In the fourth quarter of 2020, Royal Caribbean Group lost $1bn-plus as the coronavirus outbreak stopped its cruise ships ashore, but the company pointed to good booking patterns for 2022.
As the COVID-19 pandemic brought the industry to a virtual standstill, cruise operators have been shoring up cash reserves by issuing new bonds, selling properties or raising billions of dollars in debt over the last few months.
Royal Caribbean’s overall revenue for the quarter plummeted to $34.1m from $2.52bn last year with its ships not sailing. According to Refinitiv IBES results, analysts had estimated revenue of $35.6m.
The company, however, said bookings were within historical ranges and at higher prices for the first half of 2022, underlining a strong demand for cruises.
Last month, Royal Caribbean, which reported unusual negative sales, said it anticipated net losses for its first quarter and fiscal year 2021.
In the latter half of this year, some analysts expect Royal Caribbean and its peers Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd to eventually resume voyages, as millions of people are vaccinated by governments in the United States and other major markets.
Royal Caribbean had about $4.4bn in liquidity as of the end of December, up from around $3.7bn at the end of the third quarter, after raising $1bn in a stock offering during the fourth quarter.
In the quarter ended December 31, the operator of ‘Oasis of the Seas’ and ‘Symphony of the Seas’ cruises announced a net attributable loss of $1.37bn, or $6.09 per share, compared with a profit of $273.1m, or $1.30 per share, a year earlier.
The firm lost $5.02 per share on an adjusted basis, compared with analysts’ expectations of a loss of $5.20.