Merlin share price: Half-year results out

on Jul 30, 2015
Updated: Oct 21, 2019

Merlin Entertainments Plc (LON:MERL) today released its results for the six months ended June 27. Key information provided below:
Robust Group like for like revenue growth of 2.8%, benefiting from a diverse, global portfolio, mitigating the impact of difficult trading at a number of our attractions;

Trading in the Resort Theme Parks Operating Group has been, and continues to be, significantly impacted by the accident at the Alton Towers Resort, and the decision to temporarily close the park and suspend marketing activity across the UK theme park estate. Despite a positive start to the season at Gardaland, the Resort Theme Parks like for like revenues for the period were down 2.0%;
Continued strong momentum in the LEGOLAND Parks Operating Group with like for like revenue growth at 6.0%, driven by ongoing strength in the two US parks and successful launches of new features and products;

Trading in the Midway Attractions Operating Group, with like for like revenue growth at 2.9% has been mixed. Strong performances in parts of Asia and Europe have been offset by reduced visitor volumes at the London cluster and a marked deterioration in visitation to Hong Kong due to travel restrictions from the People’s Republic of China;
The persistent weakness in the Euro has, and is likely to continue to, impact volumes across our London attractions, which we believe is the result of the relative value of the Eurozone as a destination to both European and UK outbound visitors;
New Business Development has made a strong contribution to overall growth, with total revenue growing by 6.6% at constant currency, due to an earlier openings schedule and strong attraction launches, particularly SEA LIFE Michigan and the new Orlando cluster;
Launch of the new ‘DreamWorks Tours – Shrek’s Adventure!’ brand with the first attraction in London opened on 1 July;
Net underlying financing costs reduced by 28.4% (£9 million) year on year as a result of the refinancing and the £110 million reduction in gross debt announced earlier in the period.
**Nick Varney, Chief Executive Officer, said:** “The first-half was overshadowed by the serious accident at Alton Towers. Safety is, and must always be, of paramount importance in our business.
“We have iconic brands and a diversified portfolio and, thanks to our dedicated staff, continue to attain excellent satisfaction ratings from our customers. These strengths enabled us to deliver a robust set of half year results and provide confidence in the medium and long term outlook.”
As of 07:35 BST, Thursday, 30 July, Merlin Entertainments share price is 417.60p.

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