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Strong close-in demand drives Royal Caribbean Group to record booked position

Royal Caribbean Group CEO and president Jason Liberty

Royal Caribbean Group (RCG) has reported a record-breaking booked position, with rates higher than all prior years, in a recent trading update covering 2023

Last year, the group took $13.9 billion in total revenue and $1.7 billion in net income, with earnings per share (EPS) reaching $6.31 and adjusted EPS $6.77.

These results were better than the company’s guidance, the line said, due to stronger close-in demand.

“2023 was an exceptional year, propelled by unmatched demand for our brands from new and loyal guests,” said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of RCG.

“With the wind in our sails and record-breaking bookings, 2024 is poised to be another robust year, and we expect to achieve two of our trifecta goals one year early.”

The group’s net income for the fourth quarter of 2023 was $0.3 billion, compared to a net loss of $0.5 billion for the same period in the prior year.

Gross margin yields increased 30.9% as-reported, and net yields increased 17.9% in constant currency when compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. Load factor for the quarter was 105%.

Royal Caribbean Group ‘very encouraged’ about demand and pricing in 2024

The company said it was “very encouraged” about the demand and pricing environment for 2024. Overall, the five best booking weeks of the company’s history have occurred since its last earnings call, including the first three weeks of wave.

As a result, the company is now in a record booked position in both rate and volume. Consumer spending onboard and pre-cruise purchases continue to exceed prior years driven by greater participation at higher prices, indicating quality and healthy future demand.

“Demand for our brands continues to outpace broader travel as a result of consumer spend further shifting toward experiences and the exceptional value proposition of our products,” said Liberty.

“We have exciting new vacation experiences in 2024, including the game changing Icon of the Seas, and have entered the year in a record booked position at significantly higher prices, further positioning us for a strong 2024.”

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