Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Earnings Call Insights: Insurance Cost Increase and Reducing European Itineraries

Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd. (NYSE:RCL) recently reported its fourth quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call.

Insurance Cost Increase

Felicia Hendrix – Barclays Capital: Brian, you talked a little bit about some of the drivers of the cost increases. Just wondering if we could go a little deeper. Regarding the insurance cost increase, you did say that it had gone up. But how much of the increase that you’re seeing now is incremental to what you were expecting before? And then I was wondering if you could just discuss the investment spending in more detail that you also highlighted as a driver for the higher costs?

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Brian J. Rice – EVP and CFO: Sure, Felicia. Our interest costs in total are up about $20 million year-over-year. So that’s a little more than half a percentage points, about 60 basis points.

Felicia Hendrix – Barclays Capital: That’s insurance.

Brian J. Rice – EVP and CFO: That’s insurance. Most of that is, I mentioned in my comments is related to P&I, which is we’re just now in the renewal period, we were actually talking to the clubs last week. We had anticipated some increases we had, I believe, that was about a 10% increase in hull and machinery which we had anticipated, but the P&L was much larger in the allocation of the recovery of those costs to the cruise lines was more substantial than we had anticipated. We are in the midst – I’m going to let Adam talk about some of the marketing investments that we’re making, but we also both on capital and on the P&L, we’re doing a lot of investment in IT right now. We’re working lot with our websites, our core reservation system, our ability to do much more intuitive presentation to our customers as well as to be able to do a lot more revenue management at a more granular level. Those are benefits that have begun to start coming in, but they will also snowball over the next couple of years. So, we’ve included some benefit this year in our revenue, but I think it’s going to be 2014, 2015 that we really hope to get the biggest gains out of that.