January 25, 2001
WQIS increases coverage on oil spills
WQIS announced an improvement of its water pollution liability products. Responding to requests from assureds, the brokers that represent them, and interests from the U.S. government, WQIS is increasing the available limit on certain oil spills to $10,000,000.
"The increase in available limit offers greater flexibility for the assureds to get the increased coverage they want," says Richard Hobbie, WQIS President. "WQIS wants to make sure the assureds' needs are met, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve our product."
WQIS, under its 1998 Policy form, has been offering the statutory limits enumerated in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 or $5,000,000, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of $20,000,000.
WQIS is now prepared to quote, as an optional choice, limits of statutory or $10,000,000, whichever is greater, for Article A of Part I up to a maximum of $20,000,000.
Under the previous $5,000,000 limit, spills often have to be released to other parties within days of initial cleanup. Complex spills can take weeks to manage. This new increased coverage allows greater continuity for spill management. WQIS says "MPRG, the leading U.S. spill response team and WQIS affiliate, can now manage a spill for greater lengths of time, often increasing the comfort level of the government and lowering costs of cleanup."
Increased earnings for RCCL
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced a 16% increase in net income to $445 million in 2000, from the prior year's $384 million. Earnings per share were $2.31, up from $2.06 in 1999, on revenues of $2.9 billion versus $2.5 billion the prior year.
Revenues for the fourth quarter were $642 million, up 10% from $584 million in 1999. The increase in revenues was due primarily to the increase in capacity in the quarter, partially offset by a change in yields. Net revenue yields for the quarter were down 7%, primarily due to the introduction of several new itineraries, and the impact of the Millennium New Year's event, which positively affected both the fourth quarter of 1999 and the first quarter of 2000. Net income for the quarter was $30 million, as compared with $38 million in the fourth quarter of 1999. Earnings per share were $0.16, versus $0.19 the prior year.
The company also announced the completion of a $360 million 5-year term loan with a group of European banks. This facility can be utilized during 2001 and bears interest at LIBOR plus one percent.
"It is a pleasure to again report record earnings. Our core products continue to perform well, allowing us to introduce new itineraries and develop new markets for future growth," said chairman and CEO Richard D. Fain.
"Looking forward to 2001, we expect that we will continue to experience a competitive pricing environment but nevertheless are anticipating a very exciting year. The wave season is off to a good start and we have set a number of new booking records during the past two weeks."
MIllennium in dry dock for motor repair
Royal Caribbean's Celebrity Cruises announced yesterday that it will place its ship Millennium in dry dock for two weeks to repair an under-performing electric motor that operates one of the ship's two propulsion units.
The drydocking will necessitate the cancellation of two one-week Caribbean cruises, scheduled to depart Fort Lauderdale on April 1 and 8. Guests booked on these two cruises will receive a full refund and a 50 percent discount on a future seven-night Celebrity cruise in the Caribbean.
"We deeply regret the inconvenience these cancellations will cause our guests,'' said Richard Sasso, president of Celebrity Cruises. `"Although the under-performing motor has no impact on our guests' safety or comfort, it has reduced Millennium's maximum cruising speed of 24 knots, to 20.5 knots, and has the potential to affect arrival times in certain ports of call. We want to regain that power as soon as possible and the only way to accomplish this is to undertake this repair.''
A Celebrity statement says "The electric motor in question is housed within one of the ship's two propulsion pods, located below the surface of the water in the stern of the ship. The motor is responsible for turning one of the ship's two propellers. The motor's under-performance is comparable to an automobile that might have a 14-cylinder motor -- operating without two cylinders. The motor can still function, but not at its optimum performance."
Celebrity says it "expects the repair costs to be covered under normal warranty provisions." It is reviewing the issue of lost revenue with the manufacturer.
Graham promoted to VP of Litton Ship Systems
Litton Industries today announced the promotion of Dr. Clark "Corky'' Graham to the newly established position of vice president, resource utilization and productivity improvement of Litton Ship Systems (LSS). Graham previously served as president of Litton Marine Systems, which has headquarters in Charlottesville, Va. He reports to LSS senior vice president William P. ``Pat'' Keene.
Prior to joining Litton, Graham served the U.S. Navy with distinction for more than 30 years and held senior positions, including commander of the David Taylor Research Center, as well as technical director of the DDG 51 ARLEIGH BURKE Class of guided missile destroyers, currently being produced by Litton Ingalls Shipbuilding.
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