Tuesday, August 14, 2001

American Classic Voyages Co. expects to yield $115
to $120 per passenger per night on the SS Independence.

American Classic
income plummets

The company loses nearly $8
million in the 2nd quarter,
though revenues increase

By Russ Lynch

Citing a continuing struggle against poor economic conditions -- particularly in its Hawaii cruise business -- American Classic Voyages Co. today reported a second-quarter loss of $7.7 million, or 36 cents a share, compared to a profit of $1.3 million, or 6 cents a share, a year ago.

Revenues of $78.1 million were up 28.5 percent from $60.8 million in the year-ago period, but much of the increase was eaten by rising operating costs.

By closing on the Nasdaq Stock Market the company's shares were down 15 cents at $2.40.

"Our financial results in the second quarter reflect continued pressure on yields as a result of a weak economic environment, particularly in Hawaii," said Phil Calian, American Classic's chief executive officer.

"Yet our aggressive sales and marketing actions in the past several months have done much to stabilize our Hawaii operations and we are seeing marked occupancy improvement for the second half."

American Classic, now headquartered in Miami, operates two vessels in Hawaiian waters, the 860-passenger SS Independence in its American Hawaii Cruises subsidiary and the 1,212-passenger ms Patriot under its United States Lines flag. Total advance bookings in the Hawaii operations show occupancy of 104 percent for the third quarter and 88 percent for the fourth quarter, Calian said. The company expects full-year average yields of $115 to $120 per passenger per night from the Independence, up from its previous expectation of $100 to $115.

Patriot yields are expected to average $135 to $140.

The company had expected to announce its earnings Thursday but delayed until today because of ongoing discussions with Northrop Grumman/Ingalls Shipbuilding in Mississippi, which is building two 1,900-passenger cruise liners to be operated in Hawaii.

Despite claims by outsiders, including U.S. Sen. John McCain, that construction of the first ship is running behind schedule, American Classic has not agreed there is a delay and its latest financial report contains no special cost items relating to the construction.

The first ship is due for delivery in 2003 and the second in 2004.

"We and Northrop Grumman are focused on understanding and resolving the issues and we will provide a more detailed update when appropriate," Calian said.

American Classic said it expects its second-half earnings before interest, taxes and depreciation to break even.

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