(Reuters) – Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd forecast a loss in the second quarter on Wednesday as the cruise operator struggles with mounting debt amid trip cancellations due to travel curbs imposed to check the spread of the coronavirus.
The company, which posted a bigger-than-expected loss in the first quarter, has faced the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic as major outbreaks in cruises were blamed for spreading the disease.
In the past few months, Royal Caribbean has borrowed more than $5 billion, some by pledging its ships, and now expects to pay between $590 million and $610 million in interests for the rest of the year.
The Miami-headquartered company said booking volumes for the remainder of the year were lower than the same period a year earlier at prices that are down at low single digits.
“We understand that when our ships return to service, they will be sailing in a changed world,” Chief Executive Officer Richard Fain said.
Rivals Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise Lines, however, have signaled a return in demand for cruises that would set sail late this year or early 2021.
Royal Caribbean said net loss attributable to the company stood at $1.44 billion, or $6.91 per share, for the first quarter ended March 31.
Excluding one-time items, it lost $1.48 per share, must more than Wall Street expectations of 63 cents loss, according Refinitiv data.
(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr, Anil D’Silva and Arun Koyyur)