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Healthcare

UPDATE 1-Norwegian Cruise Line posts bigger-than-expected loss on pandemic hit

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Aug 6 (Reuters) - Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss on Thursday as travel curbs and no-sail orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic brought the industry to a grinding halt.

The health crisis has ravaged the business of Norwegian, Carnival Corp and Royal Caribbean, which together account for a big chunk of the global cruise industry’s revenues.

They have had to draw down credit lines, raise billions of dollars through stock and bond offerings and even pledge ships and private islands to stay operational.

Norwegian said on Thursday its total debt position as of June 30 was $10.3 billion and it had cash and cash equivalents of $2.3 billion. It expects an average monthly cash burn of about $160 million, which was at the high end of its estimate.

Recently, the cruise companies have signaled a return in demand in 2021, but doubts persisted as U.S. operators agreed to suspend voyages till at least Oct. 31.

Norwegian said booking volumes were still below historical levels and that it had $1.2 billion of advanced ticket sales as of the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, Norwegian also reported a staggering 99% slump in quarterly revenue to $16.9 million, missing expectations of $25.5 million, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

The company reported a net loss of $715.2 million compared with a profit of $240.2 million, or $1.11 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, it lost $2.78 per share, bigger than expectations of $2.26 per share.

Shares of the company, that have lost three quarters of its value so far this year, were down 3% in premarket trading.

Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Arun Koyyur

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