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Belmond Ltd. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2017 Results

February 28, 2018 Financial No Comments Email Email

Belmond Ltd. (NYSE: BEL) (the “Company”), owners, part-owners or managers of 46 luxury hotel, restaurant, train and river cruise properties, excluding one scheduled for a 2018 opening in London, which operate in 24 countries, today announced its results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2017.http://www.lagunaphuket.com/foodandmusicfestival/

Roeland Vos, president and chief executive officer, remarked: “Our results in the seasonally low fourth quarterof 2017 were generally in line with expectations. While we acknowledge adjusted EBITDA was down overall due to decreased results from our trains businesses and planned investment in brand awareness activities, we are encouraged that our business drove a steady increase in RevPAR.

The final quarter of 2017 follows a year that was defined by certain challenges that were beyond the Company’s control, most notably events in Brazil impacting our two hotels there, and Hurricanes Irma and Jose, which caused significant damage to our two hotels in the Caribbean. Excluding the impact of Brazil, full year adjusted EBITDA would have increased $4.3 million, or 4%.

Our business has withstood the events of the last 12 months and in doing so, it has proven its resilience. At the same time, we have continued to focus on executing our strategic plan and, on this front, we can be pleased with the building blocks we have put in place to position the business for success in the next 12 months, and beyond. Most recently, our development pipeline continues to gain traction with the addition of the stunning and historic Tuscan resort, Castello di Casole to our portfolio, announced earlier this month. This latest acquisition marks another incremental step towards realizing our ambition to double the size of the Company.

Looking ahead to 2018, we see positive indications in the majority of our existing portfolio and, coupled with the investments we have made in the first two years of our five year plan, we believe momentum continues to build and that this will support the delivery of our 2018 growth targets, despite some continued headwinds in Myanmar. In particular, we stand to benefit from having our development team now fully-staffed. We are projecting that our same store, constant currency RevPAR growth for 2018 will be between 2% and 6% on a constant currency basis.”

Fourth Quarter 2017 Operating Results

Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $117.3 million, a $3.1 million increase from revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016. In constant currency, revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017 decreased $2.8 million or 2% from the fourth quarter of 2016. The year-over-year decrease comes principally from Belmond La Samanna, St Martin, which was closed for refurbishment during the fourth quarter of 2017 after it was damaged by Hurricanes Irma and Jose in September 2017.

Net losses attributable to Belmond Ltd.for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $29.8 million ($0.29 per common share), which compared to net earnings attributable to Belmond Ltd. of $6.7 million ($0.07 per common share) for the fourth quarter of 2016. This decrease was largely the result of a non-cash impairment charge in one of the Company’s Peruvian rail joint ventures of $58.5 million (Belmond’s 50% share $29.3 million) and a non-cash impairment charge related to goodwill at Belmond Cap Juluca of $5.5 million both of which were recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Adjusted net losses from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2017 were $6.3 million ($0.06 per common share), a $7.7 million decrease from adjusted net earnings from continuing operations of $1.4 million ($0.01 per common share) for the fourth quarter of 2016.

Same store RevPAR for owned hotels for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased 12% from the prior-year quarter. On a constant currency basis, same store RevPAR for owned hotels increased 6% from the prior-year quarter as a result of a two percentage point increase in occupancy and a 2% increase in average daily rate (“ADR”).

Adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $16.0 million, a $0.4 million or 2% decrease from adjusted EBITDA of $16.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. In constant currency, adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2017 decreased $1.6 million or 10% from the fourth quarter of 2016, largely due to a decline from owned trains and cruises and our Peruvian rail joint ventures.

As previously reported, the islands of Anguilla and St Martin were hit by Hurricanes Irma and Jose in September when both Belmond La Samanna on St Martin and Belmond Cap Juluca on Anguilla were closed for the season. Both properties are included in Belmond’s global insurance program which provides a combined property damage and twelve month business interruption cover of $30.0 million for the Caribbean as well as separate flood insurance cover. In addition, Belmond La Samanna has a separate property damage insurance policy of €4.9 million ($5.8 million) covering the eight villas at the resort.

Both properties remain closed for refurbishment and we have made assessments regarding the nature and extent of the damage sustained and have prepared and submitted the insurance claims. We are in discussions with loss adjusters and insurers to finalize the claim and we expect to recover the full limit of our property insurance coverage. As previously reported, we expensed a deductible of $1.3 million in the third quarter and a further $0.2 million in the fourth quarter.

The Company intends to reinvest the insurance proceeds at Belmond La Samanna alongside additional capital to restore and improve the asset, but we have concluded that such an investment cannot be justified without a material change in the cost structure of the operation. Consequently, the Company has entered into a formal administrative process with the local labor authorities in order to achieve a material restructuring of the property’s workforce. While we cannot give any assurances that this restructuring will be approved by the French authorities, we believe that it is a necessary condition to re-opening Belmond La Samanna.

In the case of Belmond Cap Juluca, we have completed our assessments of the damage incurred, the repair costs and the additional opportunities to enhance the property having had the chance to spend more time on the planning and competitive analysis. We commenced construction in October 2017 and we expect to complete the refurbishment towards the end of 2018.

Our expectation is that total project costs at Belmond La Samanna will be in the range of $25.0 million to $30.0 million and at Belmond Cap Juluca will be in the range of $80.0 million to $90.0 million, after which we will have two completely refurbished properties. Once insurance proceeds of $30.0 million to $40.0 million have been taken into account, this will result in net investment across the two properties of between $65.0 million and $90.0 million.

On November 2, 2017, the Company completed the sale of its shares in Northern Belle Limited, which owned the Belmond Northern Belle rolling stock, for £2.5 million ($3.3 million) to a joint venture that operates other rail charter operations in the UK. This business was operating at a break-even level of EBITDA and was considered non-core to our trains and cruises segment. A loss of $0.8 million was recorded due to the recycling of cumulative translation adjustments into the profit & loss account.

Full Year 2017 Operating Results

Revenue for the full year 2017 was $561.0 million, an $11.2 million increase from revenue for the full year 2016. In constant currency, revenue for the full year 2017 decreased $0.6 million from the prior year.

Net losses attributable to Belmond Ltd. for the full year 2017 were $45.0 million ($0.44 per common share), a $81.3 million decrease from net earnings of $36.3 million ($0.36 per common share) for the full year 2016.

Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations for the full year 2017 were $12.1 million ($0.12 per common share), a $13.5 million decrease from $25.6 million ($0.25 per common share) for the full year 2016, largely due to a decline from the Company’s two hotels in Brazil that were impacted by the political and economic instability in the country coupled with a comparison period in which both hotels benefited from Rio de Janeiro hosting the Summer Olympics.

Same store RevPAR for owned hotels for the full year 2017 increased 1% from the prior year on a constant currency basis as a result of a 2% increase in average daily rate (“ADR”) partially offset by a one percentage point decrease in occupancy.

Adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2017 was $124.0 million, a $4.2 million or 3% decrease from adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2016. In constant currency, adjusted EBITDA for the full year 2017 decreased $8.9 million or 7% from the full year 2016.

Recent Company Highlights

  • Bolsters corporate operations team with appointment of Daniel Ruff to senior vice president, head of global operations – On January 15, 2018, Daniel Ruff joined the Company as senior vice president, head of global operations, reporting to the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Ruff most recently served as President and Managing Director EMEA and the Indian subcontinent for Wyndham Hotel Group, and previously held various positions at Starwood Hotels and Resorts as a member of the EMEA senior leadership team. Mr. Ruff has a proven track record in building global businesses and brings more than 15 years of professional experience to the role. Mr. Philippe Cassis remains with the Company as senior vice president, head of organizational transformation.
  • Expands Italian portfolio with acquisition of Castello di Casole, in Tuscany – On February 8, 2018, the Company completed the acquisition of the Castello di Casole resort and estate in Tuscany, Italy, for approximately €39 million ($48 million). The property is the latest addition to Belmond’s family of ‘Italian Icons’, which includes Belmond Hotel Cipriani, in Venice, and Belmond Hotel Splendido, in Portofino and is located within easy access of both Florence and Siena, making a visit to the property the perfect addition to a trip to Belmond Villa San Michele. This acquisition marks another step towards achieving the Company’s strategic goal to double in size, and consolidates the Company’s position as the leader in luxury travel experiences in Italy’s most exceptional locations. Starting in 2018, the Company expects to invest €7.3 million ($9.0 million) in a phased refurbishment of the hotel, including the addition of two new villas, over four years, bringing the resort’s total key count to 41.

    Also acquired Villa Margarita adjacent to Belmond Hotel Caruso in November 2017 for €2.2 million ($2.7 million). The villa will be converted into two exclusive one-bedroom suites that can be connected together into a standalone villa with stunning views over the gulf of Salerno.

Fourth Quarter 2017 Business Unit Results

Owned hotels:

Europe:

For the fourth quarter of 2017, revenue from owned hotels was $31.6 million, an increase of $5.2 million or 20% from $26.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. In constant currency, revenue for the region for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased $1.1 million or 4% from the prior year quarter primarily due to a $0.7 millionor 6% revenue increase for the Company’s Italian hotels and a $0.5 million or 11% increase at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg, Russia. Revenue growth for the Company’s Italian hotels before their annual closure period from November to March was largely driven by the performances of Belmond Hotel Caruso, Amalfi Coast, Italy due to a 23% increase in ADR and Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino, Italy, which benefited from the addition of balconies to twelve of its rooms in March 2017. Growth in revenue at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe was due to increases in rates and occupancy, as well as from strong business in the newly renovated Krysha Ballroom.

In constant currency, same store RevPAR for owned hotels in the region increased 3% from the prior-year quarter as a result of a 2% increase in ADR and 1 percentage point increase in occupancy.

Adjusted EBITDA for the region for the quarter of $2.2 million represented an increase of $0.8 million or 57% from $1.4 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. In constant currency, adjusted EBITDA for the region for the fourth quarter of 2017 decreased $0.3 million or 18% from the prior year quarter. This was due to a $0.4 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA at the Company’s Italian hotels, in part due to Belmond Hotel Cipriani, Venice, Italy, which hosted an important event for leading global wedding planners that is expected to benefit the hotel and wider portfolio in this key business activity in the future, and legal expenses incurred in connection with the hotel’s recent judicial successes in defending its trademark rights for the European Union.

North America:

Revenue from owned hotels for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $34.0 million, down $3.6 million or 10% from $37.6 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. In constant currency, revenue for the region for the fourth quarter of 2017 decreased $3.6 million or 10% from the prior year quarter primarily due to a fall in revenue of $5.7 million at Belmond La Samanna and $0.8 million at Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara, California, offset by a $2.2 million or 13% increase in revenue at Belmond Charleston Place, Charleston, South Carolina. Belmond La Samanna was closed for the duration of the fourth quarter of 2017 after it was hit by Hurricanes Irma and Jose in September 2017 and Belmond El Encanto was closed for nearly three weeks during the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara in December 2017. Belmond is preparing an insurance claim for property damage and business interruption at Belmond El Encanto, which is expected to be in the region of $2.0 million and will be finalized in the first quarter of 2018. Belmond Charleston Place saw strong growth due to increases in both ADR and occupancy from a comparative period when it was hit by Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.

In constant currency, same store RevPAR for owned hotels in the region increased 10% from the prior-year quarter due to a 6% increase in ADR and 4% increase in occupancy.

Adjusted EBITDA for the region for the quarter was $8.0 million, an increase of $0.5 million or 7% from $7.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. In constant currency, adjusted EBITDA for the region for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased $0.5 million or 6% as a result of a $1.3 million increase in adjusted EBITDA at Belmond Charleston Place offset by a $1.0 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA at Belmond El Encanto. Operating losses of $1.4 million at Belmond La Samanna and $1.7 million at Belmond Cap Juluca have been added back to adjusted EBITDA for the fourth quarter of 2017 while the properties are closed for renovation.

Rest of world:

Revenue from owned hotels for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $35.6 million, an increase of $1.9 million or 6% from $33.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. In constant currency, revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017 increased $1.3 million or 4% from the prior year quarter, principally as a result of an increase in revenue of $1.2 million or 22% at Belmond Hotel das Cataratas, Iguassu Falls, Brazil, $0.8 million at Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia and $0.8 million or 13% at Belmond Mount Nelson, Cape Town, South Africa. Belmond Hotel das Cataratas benefited from a seven percentage point increase in occupancy combined with strong growth in food and beverage revenues. Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor saw an increase in revenue following the property’s closure for renovation from May to November 2016 and Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel benefited from higher occupancy compared to last year. This was offset by a decrease in revenue of $0.7 million at both Belmond Copacabana Palace, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Belmond Governor’s Residence, Yangon, Myanmar.

In constant currency, same store RevPAR for owned hotels increased 5% from the prior-year quarter as a result of a 4% increase in occupancy and 1% increase in ADR.

Adjusted EBITDA for the region for the quarter of $8.6 million increased $0.4 million or 5% from adjusted EBITDA of $8.2 million for the prior-year quarter. In constant currency, adjusted EBITDA for the region increased $0.2 million or 3% from the prior-year quarter largely as a result of adjusted EBITDA increases of $0.6 million and $0.4 million at Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor and Belmond Hotel das Cataratas respectively, offset by a $0.6 million decrease in adjusted EBITDA at Belmond Governor’s Residence.

Owned trains & cruises:

Revenue for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $12.6 million, up $0.4 million or 3% from $12.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. In constant currency, revenue decreased $0.7 million or 6% primarily as a result of the sale of the Belmond Northern Belle train at the beginning of the period which had contributed an additional $1.8 million of revenue in the fourth quarter of 2016. Additionally Belmond Orcaella, the river cruise ship in Myanmar, contributed a $0.9 million decrease in revenue compared to the prior year quarter. In November 2017, the Company provided notice of termination to the owner of Belmond Orcaella in respect of its charter agreement. This was offset by a $0.9 million or 21% increase in revenue for Venice Simplon-Orient-Express driven by promotional activity following the release of the Hollywood movie ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ and $1.1 million other increases.

Adjusted EBITDA for the quarter was a loss of $0.9 million, a $1.1 million decrease from adjusted EBITDA of $0.2 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 largely due to the sale of Belmond Northern Belle and cessation of Belmond Orcaella, the Company’s river cruise in Myanmar.

Management fees:

Adjusted EBITDA from management fees for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $3.8 million, a decrease of $0.5 million or 12% from $4.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 due to lower fees from PeruRail.

Share of pre-tax earnings from unconsolidated companies:

Adjusted share of pre-tax earnings from unconsolidated companies for the fourth quarter of 2017 was $3.6 million, a decrease of $1.4 million or 28% against $5.0 million for the fourth quarter of 2016 due to an adjusted EBITDA decrease of $1.6 million or 35% for the Company’s Peruvian train joint venture, PeruRail, as a result of increases in fuel costs and other operating expenses.

An impairment charge of $58.5 million was recorded in Ferrocarril Transandino S.A. (“FTSA”), the Company’s joint venture that has a concession from the Government of Peru to operate the track network in southern and southeastern Peru. Belmond’s equity share of this impairment is $29.3 million which is recorded in share of earnings from unconsolidated companies and has been added back to adjusted EBITDA. The concession had an initial term of 30 years from 1999 with the option to apply for six 5-year extensions. In December 2017 the joint venture received a denial of its third extension request. As a result, the joint venture can no longer conclude that the remaining three extensions are probable and has therefore reduced its expectation of the total expected life of the concession to the contracted term of 35 years of which 17 years are remaining as of December 31, 2017. This triggered an impairment test of the assets within the joint venture and the shorter time period over which to recover the carrying value of the assets has led to an impairment charge being recorded in the fourth quarter. The life of the concession is now expected to expire in 2034. The Company is also a 50% owner of the PeruRail joint venture, which operates and manages rolling stock, including the Belmond Andean Explorer and Belmond Hiram Bingham, and is not anticipated to be impacted by the shortening of the expected FTSA concession life as it can continue to run trains on the track after the conclusion of FTSA’s concession.

Central overheads:

For the fourth quarter of 2017, adjusted central overheads of $6.1 million were $0.8 million or 12% lower than adjusted central overheads of $6.9 million in the prior-year quarter, mainly due to increased development and other corporate headcount to support the Company’s strategic growth plan, offset by increased cost recovery from our consolidated subsidiaries.

Impairment of goodwill:

In the fourth quarter of 2017, the Company recorded a $5.5 million impairment charge relating to goodwill at Belmond Cap Juluca. The impairment was triggered by an increase in capital expenditure requirements following the damage sustained when Hurricanes Irma and Jose hit the property in September 2017.

Depreciation and amortization:

For the fourth quarter of 2017, depreciation and amortization of $17.0 million was $4.2 million or 33% higher than depreciation and amortization of $12.8 million for the prior-year quarter, primarily as a result of the recent completion of various capital projects and accelerated depreciation expense to write-off assets that are expected to be replaced.

Provision for income taxes:

For the fourth quarter of 2017, provision from income taxes was a benefit of $11.0 million compared to a benefit of $8.8 million for the prior year quarter. This increase in benefit is largely due to a net credit of $10.3 million in the U.S., mainly arising from changes to the US tax code enacted in December 2017, including the decrease in deferred tax liabilities as a result of the reduction in corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. One-off tax credits of $4.4m arose in the fourth quarter of 2016, mainly as result of settlement of prior year tax audits.

Investments

During the fourth quarter of 2017, the Company invested a total of $24.8 million in its portfolio, including $5.8 million on the refurbishment of Belmond Cap Juluca; $2.5 million on the acquisition of an additional villa at Belmond Hotel Caruso; $2.0 million on the full refurbishment of the Pergula Restaurant at Belmond Copacabana Palace; $1.8 million on corporate projects, which included the Company’s new enterprise resource planning system and website and $1.7 million at Belmond Grand Hotel Europe for improvements to the hotel’s elevators and renovation of its deluxe rooms.

Balance Sheet

At December 31, 2017, the Company had total debt of $707.2 million and cash balances of $184.1 million, resulting in total net debt of $523.1 million and a ratio of net debt to trailing-twelve-months adjusted EBITDA of 4.2 times, which compared to net debt of $435.1 million and a ratio of net debt to trailing-twelve-months adjusted EBITDA of 3.4 times at December 31, 2016.

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