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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:20 a.m., Thursday, May 18, 2006

Business briefs: NCL loses $28 million in first quarter

Advertiser Staff and News Services

NCL Corp. Ltd. lost $28.1 million in the first quarter as rising payroll costs with its Hawai'i cruise ships and higher fuel costs more than offset an increase in revenue.

NCL's loss compared to net income of $6 million in the same quarter a year earlier. Revenue in the first quarter rose to $349 million, a 21.1 percent from the same period a year earlier.

NCL said net cruise costs per capacity day increased 6.4 percent, largely because of higher fuel costs as well as payroll growth associated with U.S. crew for NCL America's Hawai'i interisland cruises. The Hawai'i cruise operations began with one ship in June 2004 and will grow to three ships with the Pride of Hawai'i arriving here this month.

"Consistent with our expectations, the first quarter continued to feel the effects of higher fuel costs and the impact of significant start-up costs associated with our NCL America operations," said Colin Veitch, president and CEO of NCL Corp. "While the NCL America start-up costs continue to be challenging, we expect to see some stabilization of these costs after Pride of Hawai'i begins revenue service and our three-ship deployment is complete."

Miami-based NCL Corp oversees the operations of Norwegian Cruise Line, NCL America and Orient Lines.

DHX forms new air cargo division

DHX - Dependable Hawaiian Express Inc., the largest freight-forwarder of cargo to Hawai'i, said it formed a new division, Dependable AirCargo Express, or DAX, to better serve customers needing to send shipments by air.

DHX said the new company is catering to growing demand for air cargo shipments and was established by combining the air freight operations of its Dependable Hawaiian Express and Dependable Global Express businesses.