Lindblad held firm against discounting despite headwinds

Lindblad held firm against discounting despite headwinds

Despite the business
challenges posed by terrorism in Europe and the Zika virus, Lindblad
Expeditions Holdings reported that it refrained from discounting, CEO Sven-Olof Lindblad said during the company’s third-quarter
earnings call on Friday.

“In 2016, broadly, there were
two external factors that most certainly had an effect, creating downward
pressure. The continuing drumbeat of terrorist attacks in Europe beginning in
late 2015, and the regular media attention on the Zika virus during prime booking
time,” said Lindblad.

“But,” he added, “despite
these rather serious external forces, occupancy in 2016 should be only about
two points below 2015, without any significant incentives or discounts. It’s an
important point because we made a strategic decision not to offer wide-scale,
widely publicized discounts to inflate short-term results. In fact, net yields
actually went up.”

Lindblad Expeditions reported
third-quarter tour revenue of $70.8 million, a 21% increase over 2015,
primarily due to the company’s May acquisition of tour operator Natural
Habitat.

Occupancy increased to 90.8%
compared with 90.5% in the third quarter of 2015.

The company’s third-quarter
net income was $7.4 million, up from $4.4 million the previous year.

Lindblad reported that it is
on track to deploy the National Geographic Endeavour II in the Galapagos
Islands by the end of the year. The vessel that will replace the National
Geographic Endeavour there.

Additionally, beginning in
December, the company is adding new Cuba expeditions aboard the 42-passenger
Panorama II, a vessel being chartered for two years that will operate on a
seasonal basis from December through March.

The company is in the process
of building two coastal vessels, the National Geographic Quest, which is
expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2017, and a second vessel
that is expected to be delivered in the second quarter of 2018.

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