Genting HK sinks into the red for first quarter

One of Star Cruises' cruise vessels.
One of Star Cruises' cruise vessels.PHOTO: GENTING HONG KONG

SINGAPORE - Genting Hong Kong sank into the red in the first half year even though the acquisition of Crystal Cruises last year propelled the cruise ship operator's revenue by 58.4 per cent to US$435.8 million (S$588.2 million).

First half earnings were dragged down owing to one-time start-up and marketing costs for the launch of its new Dream and Crystal cruise brands and products this year.

The bottomline was also hit by higher overall operating as well as selling, general and administrative expenses, including depreciation and amortisation.

The firm on Tuesday posted a net loss of US$53.6 million for the six months to June 30, reversing from a net profit of US$2.17 billion in the same period a year ago.

Total operating expenses, excluding depreciation and amortisation, rose 73.1 per cent to US$344.7 million, while selling, general and administrative expenses, excluding depreciation and amortisation, surged 157.6 per cent to US$119.3 million.

Losses per share stood at 0.63 US cents for the half year, compared to earnings per share of 26.77 US cents previously. There was no interim dividend for the period, as with the year before.

Genting Hong Kong said in its earnings report that it continues to develop its three-brand cruise portfolio - Crystal Cruises for the ultra-luxury market, Dream Cruises for the premium segment, an upscale brand specifically conceived and built for Asia, and Star Cruises for the contemporary market.

It added that its three shipyards in Germany, recently renamed as MV Werften, will focus on the group's new shipbuilding programme.

"The group's goal is to transform MV Werften to become the world's leading and most efficient cruise shipbuilder by making key investments and modernisations," it said.

Genting Hong Kong shares closed flat at 27.5 US cents on Wednesday.

tsjwoo@sph.com.sg