Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International

Results improving for SeaWorld as operator records strong first quarter

SeaWorld could finally be about to turn a financial corner, after the operator reported a strong start to the year with its first quarter results.

Following a series of poor financial results after several years of decline stemming from the Blackfish controversy, SeaWorld's cost-cutting initiatives and new focus on experiences that matter seems to be taking effect.

For the first three months of the year, the operator reported revenue increases of US$30.8m (€25.9m, £22.8m) compared to the same period in 2017, totalling US$217.2m (€182.9m, £160.6m) for the quarter.

Attendance has also trended positively in Q1, up 14.9 per cent to 3.2 million visitors – an increase of 400,000 guests.

With only five of its 12 parks open for the first quarter, the company incurred an expected overall loss for the quarter of US$62.8m (€52.8m, £46.4m) – US$21.5m (€18.1m, £15.9m) of which was in relation to pre-tax expenses associated with separation-related costs and a legal settlement accrual in the first quarter of 2018.

Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) significantly improved year-on-year, with a loss for the quieter quarter of US$100,000 (€84,000, £74,000) – an improvement of US$30.2m (€25.4m, £22.3m) over last year's Q1.

Despite the positive results, SeaWorld has had a tumultuous start to the year at board level, with several senior departures, including former CEO Joel Manby. Manby, who was named CEO in March 2015, had taken numerous steps to turn around the company’s fortunes, implementing many of the measures now starting to take noticeable effect.

Under its transition plan, chief parks operations officer John Reilly has succeeded Manby on a temporary basis.

"Despite this strong start to the year, we know we have significant opportunity for further improvement," said Reilly.

"In addition to positive attendance trends, we also saw a more than 10 per cent increase in season pass sales revenue and an increase in total revenue per capita driven by a 6.4 per cent increase in in-park per capita spending.

"We are driving additional attendance, revenue and adjusted EBITDA through our enhanced communications activities, the anticipation and receptivity of our new rides, attractions and events, more focused operational execution, improved pricing strategies and a relentless focus on efficiencies."

SeaWorld has a number of major openings scheduled for 2018, including its Premier Rides-designed Electric Eel rollercoaster in San Diego and the Intamin-manufactured Infinity Falls raft ride in Orlando. The operator also recently released renderings for its new Sesame Street Land, which opens in Orlando in Q2 2019.

SeaWorld  Blackfish  Joel Manby  John Reilly  Premier Rides  Electric Eel  Intamin  Infinity Falls  Orlando  Sesame Street  
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SeaWorld could finally be about to turn a financial corner, after the operator reported a strong start to the year with its first quarter results. Following a series of poor financial results after several years of decline stemming from the Blackfish controversy, SeaWorld's cost-cutting initiatives and new focus on experiences that matter seems to be taking effect. For the first three months of the year, the operator reported revenue increases
TAW,VAT
SeaWorld has, in recent times, placed an emphasis on creating 'experiences that matter' / SeaWorld
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company profile
Company profile: Alliance Leisure Services Ltd
The company’s core business is the provision of facility development and support for local authorities, educational establishments and leisure trusts that want to improve or expand the leisure products and services they offer.
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Les Mills International
Les Mills International