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Six month figures show Merlin divisions returning to growth
POSTED 01 Aug 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
We continue to build on our position as a unique, multi-format international operator
– Nick Varney
Theme park operator Merlin Entertainments has announced half-yearly results up to the end of June 2019, showing a return to growth for its Midway Attractions and Resort Theme Parks divisions, and revenue growth of 6.5 per cent compared to the first half of 2018 across the company.

Underlying profits were down compared to the first six months of 2018, however, with an operating profit of £79m (US$95.57m, €86.57m) and profit before tax of £34m (US$41.13m, €37.25m) – a decrease of 10.8 and 21.6 per cent respectively.

Visitor numbers are up by 3 per cent to 30.8 million over the period, with Midway, which includes attractions such as Madame Tussauds, Sea Life and The Eye, growing its revenue by 8.1 per cent, while Resort Theme Parks, whose six parks include Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Gardaland in Italy and Heide Park (Germany), saw organic revenue grow by 4.1 per cent (an operating loss of £9m (US$10.89m, €9.86m)).

Accommodation revenue grew by 14.5 per cent and now represents 24 per cent of theme park revenue.

Merlin has been busy opening and improving attractions during the period, and has been pursuing a policy of transforming theme parks into destination resorts, leading to 372 new accommodation rooms being built at Legoland Billund Resort, Gardaland Resort and Alton Towers.

Another policy is its Productivity Agenda, through which it hopes to save £35m (US$42.34m, €38.36m) in efficiencies by 2022, mostly through lean practices and rationalised central functions.

Merlin is pushing ahead with plans to open Legoland New York in 2020, though it said the timetable and costs were under pressure, "given the scale and complexity of the project". Construction contracts for the proposed new Legoland park in South Korea have also been awarded, and the park is scheduled to open in 2022.

Merlin proposed to issue no dividends on shares for the period, citing its announcement on 28 June in respect of a "recommended" cash offer for the organisation, made by Berkeley Bidco Limited, a newly-formed joint venture between shareholder and Lego brand owner Kirkbi and Blackstone Core Equity Partners (with CPPIB as a co-investor), which between them controlled Merlin for eight years before its 2013 public listing.

Chief executive officer Nick Varney said the performance was broadly in line with expectations, adding: "With eight new Midway attractions opened in the period, 372 new accommodation rooms, and the ongoing development of new Legoland parks, we continue to build on our position as a unique, multi-format international operator of strongly branded and IP-led location-based entertainment."
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Jobs   News   Products   Magazine
NEWS
Six month figures show Merlin divisions returning to growth
POSTED 01 Aug 2019 . BY Andy Knaggs
We continue to build on our position as a unique, multi-format international operator
– Nick Varney
Theme park operator Merlin Entertainments has announced half-yearly results up to the end of June 2019, showing a return to growth for its Midway Attractions and Resort Theme Parks divisions, and revenue growth of 6.5 per cent compared to the first half of 2018 across the company.

Underlying profits were down compared to the first six months of 2018, however, with an operating profit of £79m (US$95.57m, €86.57m) and profit before tax of £34m (US$41.13m, €37.25m) – a decrease of 10.8 and 21.6 per cent respectively.

Visitor numbers are up by 3 per cent to 30.8 million over the period, with Midway, which includes attractions such as Madame Tussauds, Sea Life and The Eye, growing its revenue by 8.1 per cent, while Resort Theme Parks, whose six parks include Alton Towers, Thorpe Park, Gardaland in Italy and Heide Park (Germany), saw organic revenue grow by 4.1 per cent (an operating loss of £9m (US$10.89m, €9.86m)).

Accommodation revenue grew by 14.5 per cent and now represents 24 per cent of theme park revenue.

Merlin has been busy opening and improving attractions during the period, and has been pursuing a policy of transforming theme parks into destination resorts, leading to 372 new accommodation rooms being built at Legoland Billund Resort, Gardaland Resort and Alton Towers.

Another policy is its Productivity Agenda, through which it hopes to save £35m (US$42.34m, €38.36m) in efficiencies by 2022, mostly through lean practices and rationalised central functions.

Merlin is pushing ahead with plans to open Legoland New York in 2020, though it said the timetable and costs were under pressure, "given the scale and complexity of the project". Construction contracts for the proposed new Legoland park in South Korea have also been awarded, and the park is scheduled to open in 2022.

Merlin proposed to issue no dividends on shares for the period, citing its announcement on 28 June in respect of a "recommended" cash offer for the organisation, made by Berkeley Bidco Limited, a newly-formed joint venture between shareholder and Lego brand owner Kirkbi and Blackstone Core Equity Partners (with CPPIB as a co-investor), which between them controlled Merlin for eight years before its 2013 public listing.

Chief executive officer Nick Varney said the performance was broadly in line with expectations, adding: "With eight new Midway attractions opened in the period, 372 new accommodation rooms, and the ongoing development of new Legoland parks, we continue to build on our position as a unique, multi-format international operator of strongly branded and IP-led location-based entertainment."
RELATED STORIES
Lego buys Merlin in a deal valuing it at US$7.49bn


Global attractions giant, Merlin Entertainments, has been sold to the family behind toy firm Lego in partnership with two other investors.
Upbeat 2018 results for Merlin Entertainments provide impetus for further growth


European attractions operator Merlin Entertainments has reported growth in a number of areas of its business in 2018, including record visitor numbers.
Legoland Korea given green light after funding agreement


Merlin Entertainments is set to open its first Legoland theme park in South Korea, having entered into a partnership agreement that will draw significant local government funding and infrastructure support.
Merlin reveals plans to grow Australian portfolio with new attractions


A new Legoland Discovery Centre and Dungeons attractions are being planned for Australia and New Zeland by operator Merlin Entertainments, according to divisional director Rob Smith.
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Alligator park coming to London's Old Kent Road
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More videos:
Trailer Peter Pan - Saving Tinkerbell VR – Red Raion
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Simworx - The power to move you… – Simworx
+ More videos  

CATALOGUE GALLERY
 

+ More catalogues  
DIRECTORY
+ More directory  
DIARY

 

23-25 Mar 2020

MuseumNext Europe

Edinburgh Festival Hub, Edinburgh,
23-25 Mar 2020

Dubai Entertainment Amusement and Leisure Exhibition (DEAL)

Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+ More diary  
 


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